Foodbank marks 12 months in Murray Bridge

The coordinator of the local food hub, Bronwyn Tyler, has shared its story with members of Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club.

This post was contributed by Peter Crowley of the Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club.

Bronwyn Tyler, centre, speaks with Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club members including Barry and Dawn Hoffman. Photo: Peter Crowley.

A year has now passed since Foodbank began providing much-needed assistance to people in need in Murray Bridge.

So this month was an opportune time for Bronwyn Tyler, the coordinator of the local food hub, to speak at the Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club.

Life is tough for many residents of Murray Bridge and the surrounding districts at present.

Too many face homelessness, too many face domestic violence and too many are affected by mental health and physical issues beyond their control.

They simply cannot face life alone.

It is here that Foodbank provides a lifeline for so many.

“Too often I am asked: are there really hungry people in Murray Bridge and across our state?” Mrs Tyler said.

Yes, there were.

“Hunger is mainly a hidden social problem, and many of those inflicted suffer in silence,” she said.

“Each month approximately 135,000 South Australians experience food uncertainty, with one third of them being children.

“Here in Murray Bridge, we service about 200 families per week.

“The price of essentials like food, health, education, housing, utilities and transport have really gone up in recent years, (and) people who are already struggling are liable to sudden bill shock and financial disadvantage.

“This means too often they just don’t have the money to put food on the table.

“The current economic climate, plus the economic impact of COVID-19, means people are turning to charity who would never have dreamed of seeking such support in the past.”

Foodbank SA supplied food to more than 586 welfare agencies and community groups, she said, and worked with more than 490 schools throughout South Australia.

Here in Murray Bridge it issued food vouchers through 35 local organisations, helping them provide food to people who needed relief while still offering clients a dignified shopping experience.

“Hubs are set up to resemble a general store,” Mrs Tyler said.

“We encourage people to choose healthy food options by providing free fruit and vegetables.

“Affordable recipe packs and ready-made meals are available for those willing to learn how to cook or unable to cook.

“We offer pantry foods, meat, frozen foods, personal hygiene products and household cleaning products.

“Vegetables, fruit and bread are offered free with a voucher.

“We are open to all, no questions asked.”

The enterprise relied on the contributions of its 47 dedicated volunteers, she said.

People would also help by donating food items at the Adelaide Road store or at collection points around the city, which were often located at supermarket exits.

Veggies and fruit grown in backyards were welcome too, she said.

Foodbank Murray Bridge is located at 209 Adelaide Road and is open from 9.30am to 3pm on weekdays.

  • More information: 0481 338 440.

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