Former occasional dental assistant Mia Lam volunteered at Lighthouse Care, a discounted grocery store in Logan, south of Brisbane.
- Lighthouse Care in Logan sells groceries with a 70% discount
- Demand has doubled since the coronavirus epidemic
- Brisbane Market Wholesalers Send Care Packages
But when she lost her job in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, she found herself relying on the charity to help put food on the table.
“Earlier, unemployed, I don’t know where the next dollar is coming from,” said Ms. Lam.
“I’m applying for other jobs, but I’m not sure how far a dollar will go at this point, so having these guys is just a boon.”
Ms. Lam purchased one of Lighthouse Care’s $ 25 carts – an assortment of everyday groceries at a greatly reduced price.
Lighthouse Care co-founder Debbie Hill is no stranger to difficult times, having created the organization after recovering from a mental crisis 16 years ago.
“We are here just to give love and hope, and to do our best as we have always done – to provide food to families who do it hard. It is the heart of our business and we like to do it with total dignity for everyone, “said Ms. Hill.
His organization, in partnership with the national food charity Foodbank, provides food products at up to 70% of the retail price.
The “$ 25 carts” consist of donated and wholesale goods.
Although customers cannot choose for themselves, each is designed to feed a family of four for a week.
“We normally make about 800 of our $ 25 carts each week – which is now accelerated to around 1,500,” said Ms. Hill.
“I think it’s because people don’t really have money for anything else.
“People go out on the streets without money, and there has never been so much demand, so much pressure on us, to meet the need.”
Demand for the $ 25 cart doubled in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. (ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)
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Gastronomic products from restaurants find their place
One weekday morning at the Brisbane markets, it was far from usual.
The doors had become a checkpoint, security guards taking the temperature of anyone entering.
Jack George, CEO of Simon George and Sons, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, said he has lost half of his sales in the past few weeks.
“Obviously, hospitality has dropped, and restaurants and hotels make up a large part of our clientele,” said Mr. George.
(LtoR) Jack, Ben and Matt George offer boxes of fresh produce to their restaurant customers. (ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)
Despite this, the company kept in touch with its customers by sending packs of fresh produce to the chefs and staff of their customers.
“While we have been affected, there have been others who have been much more affected, so the idea behind these fruit care packages was to help those who are really in trouble right now,” said said Mr. George.
Composed of assorted fruits and vegetables, gourmet products have found refuge among people who usually trade in the hotel industry.
“We don’t know where our business is going to be in a month, three months or six months, and our customers are in the same boat,” said Mr. George.
“So we said we will support them as long as they need them and I’m sure we’ll see them again in three to six months.”
“We have contacted our network of current and past customers, and our message is really just don’t hesitate to ask.”
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