MURRAY Dixon knows what it’s like to hit rock bottom.
The Byford resident lost his house and savings after a business deal went south but said he felt deeply grateful for the help he and his family received from friends and the local community.
Now back on his feet, Mr Dixon and his wife Val are paying it forward by helping others experiencing tough times through the Byford Baptist Church’s Free Food Market.
Mr Dixon said what started as a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) initiative had become an important service for those in need of help.
“Val and I were asked if we would manage the food market several weeks before Christmas in 2016 and the market has gone from having one customer, to eight, to a maximum of 72 in July 2017,” he said.
“It was quickly realised the extent of the problem in Byford and the surrounding suburbs and that we needed to provide practical help in the form of food for those families who had been hit with job loss, redundancies etc.”
The Free Food market receives grocery donations from local Aldi, IGA and Coles stores, but still needs $150 worth of food from Foodbank to keep up with the 50 local families asking for help every week.
In a financial boost, the not-for-profit group has received a $2000 grant to help cover the shortfall as part of P&N Bank’s Helping Hands program.
Mr Dixon said the money would help them continue to bolster the quantity of food they could offer.
“In July 2017 the free food market was down to the last $5,” he said.
“This grant will enable the Free Food Market to continue the work and provide for additional families if required, because we can plan and manage the provision of groceries with the knowledge that there are funds to ensure the ongoing viability of the service to the community.
“The knowledge that this grant has been made available by the P&N Bank has taken the stress out of the planning process for the purchase of goods from Foodbank WA.”
The Free Food Market is looking for business sponsorship or donations to help them continue to buy groceries.
The Byford Baptist Church Free Food Market operates every Thursday from 12pm-2pm.