Yangebup: volunteers celebrate one year at the Dinner Table

Margaret Hoogewerf and Liz Fairall. Picture: Will Russell
Margaret Hoogewerf and Liz Fairall. Picture: Will Russell

VOLUNTEERS behind a bi-monthly community dinner say people now come as much for the companionship as they do the free meal.

It was July 2015 when the Great Life Church in Yangebup hosted its first Dinner Table to support the community’s most isolated.

Co-founders Liz Fairall and Kathryn Stevens wanted the initiative to offer people a meal and a safe place where they could meet others in the community.

A year on, Ms Fairall said volunteers were helping up to 50 people every second Monday during the school term.

“We’ve connected with so many people over the last year who come out to have dinner with us more for the company than the food,” she said.

“We’ve been able to help people with other needs as well which has been great. They’ve become part of our family.”

The work of the Church and other groups and charities in Perth cannot be understated.

Foodbank’s 2016 Hunger Report found one in six Australians had experienced a lack of food in the last 12 months.

About half of those had turned to a charity for support.

Not having enough money in the first place, unexpected expenses, large bills and rent were some of the main reasons people could not pay for food.

Mr Fairall said volunteers were looking to introduce a weekly dinner sometime over the next 12 months.