HELP IS THERE: Lowood Hub co-ordinator Shannon Fitzsimmons in front of the Lowood Community Pantry and Book Exchange
HELP IS THERE: Lowood Hub co-ordinator Shannon Fitzsimmons in front of the Lowood Community Pantry and Book Exchange Lachlan McIvor

Community pantry offers a helping hand in times of need

WHEN times are tough, every little bit can make a difference.

The Lowood Community Pantry and Book Exchange was established in June to allow community members free access to basic necessities.

It was started by the Mercy Community Lowood Hub and co-ordinator Shannon Fitzsimmons said the initiative had been warmly received.

Items are flying off the shelves each day and businesses, churches, kindergartens and residents have donated generously over the past three months.

CS Energy's Wivenhoe Power Station donated money to construct the pantry, the Lowood and Fernvale Community Bank Branch held a second hand book sale to raise funds to stock it and cafe Rudy and Ada have also contributed.

"We already knew there would be a need for it from the requests we get everyday from people here," Ms Fitzsimmons said.

"There is no place-based emergency relief provider in Lowood at the moment.

"People have to travel to either Gatton, Laidley, Esk, Ipswich or Brisbane to access ER service provision.

"So for people locally, that's a drain on their fuel.

"If they're vulnerable already, they probably don't have the means to get to those locations, to get something as basic as baby food or milk or cereal."

While the backing from the community had been strong, Mercy is asking for more non-perishable food and toiletries to be brought in as they are the items most in demand.

"We get people show up pretty much daily wanting to donate things," she said. "People are very generous."

The pantry is located at the front of the Mercy Lowood Hub at 24 Railway St and available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

If your organisation or group wants to participate in the Community Pantry email: lowoodhub@mercy cs.org.au

Mercy are calling for the following items in particular to be donated: UHT and powdered milk, canned vegetables, canned fruits, breakfast cereals, plain pastas, pasta sauces, canned fish, canned or packet soups, tea, coffee, Milo, muesli bars, peanut butter, Vegemite, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, baby food, nappies and formula.


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