We see a lot of people through our food hub on The Farm at Burnie High, and over time you get to know a small part of people’s lives.
If it is quiet, and sometimes it is when we first open we have the opportunity to connect and converse and one morning it so happened that two grandmas were in the hub at the same time and shared a little about why they come to see us…
Around six months ago there was an unexpected arrival on Jan’s doorstep. Her daughter and two grandchildren fleeing an interstate domestic violence situation. That’s three more mouths to feed – two of them growing children in a household that was comfortably supporting two. “I NEVER thought I would be in a situation where i had to come and get assistance for food. I am so ashamed I have to come here” This woman has opened her doors to her child and grandchildren fleeing horrific domestic violence and SHE feels ashamed about coming to get food to help feed them.
Margaret looks after 3 of her grandchildren as their parents are dealing with drug and alcohol issues. She is overwhelmed but know the kids are better off with her.
These two women found a small solace in each other as they talked about their situations with each other. Heartbreaking but a good example of WHY WE ARE HERE, doing what we do. Community supporting community.
These are not the only examples of women looking after their extended families. One woman comes in, her daughter has cancer so she looks after her grandkids each morning getting them off to school – feeding them breakfast and lunch. Another’s daughter has seven kids. That’s a lot of mouths to feed for anyone so this woman gathers veggies and pantry staples to help her out.
This is touching the surface. There are so many others that come through our door – up to 60 each day all. Some share their stories. Other get in and out as quickly as they can. There is a deep shame for some, coming to get food.
We have tried to make our space as welcoming as possible. We have set it up like a greengrocer so people can come and pick what they want to take home. We are happy to talk about how to cook with some of the veggies we are growing on site – tsaoi, kale, collard greens and people share their cooking tips with each other.
We know there are a lot of different organisations out there looking for support and we are ok with you supporting one of them and not us. Free will people! We also know there are a lot of people going yeah – I’m going to support Produce to the People….i’ll do it tomorrow, or next week, or after I go visit them first to suss out what they really do. But you could also invest right now. It’s really easy and will take you a few minutes. Done!
Will you consider BEING ONE OF THE 4000?
Grow, gather, give and love the one you’re with.
*I have changed some of the details of the people in this story for privacy reasons