THE breakdown of “community spirit and togetherness” needs addressing to prevent the “modern age” disease of isolation and loneliness, says ADRA Belmont projects manager Robert Stankovic.
To help build local friendships and support, Mr Stankovic and a team of volunteers recently launched two services at the ADRA Belmont Community Centre in Kewdale.
After three years of fundraising to install a commercial kitchen at the centre, Mr Stankovic said ADRA could now provide important food relief services to the community.
Each Tuesday, ADRA runs the Community Pantry and Community Cafe services to give struggling families and individuals much-needed relief with free food and meals.
Mr Stankovic said the cafe offered a unique atmosphere and safe place where everyone could come together under one roof to enjoy a hearty cooked meal while enjoying the company of others.
“The breakdown of community spirit and togetherness is real, and needs addressing,” he said.
“Isolation and loneliness is considered the biggest social issue around the world today.
“Loneliness has been branded as ‘one of the most pressing social issues of our time’ and ‘the ultimate poverty in society’.
“We here at the ADRA Belmont Community Cafe want to begin a rippling effect in our community to reverse this new social disease of our modern age – isolation and loneliness.”
Mr Stankovic said despite technological advancements that allowed people to more easily connect with each other, people were feeling lonelier than ever before.
“At pandemic proportions, loneliness also contributes to major mental health issues including depression, anxiety, addictions, and suicide,” he said.
“By coming together from all walks of life, everyone has something they contribute in adding value and worth to people’s lives.
“Engaging socially with each other through food, fun and fellowship, people become inspired with hope and purpose.”
Community Pantry runs each Tuesday from noon-2pm and Community Cafe each Tuesday from 6-7pm with doors opening at 5.30pm for light refreshments.
Board games and activities are offered from 7-8.30pm, while a supervised kids activity corner will be provided each week to allow parents and guardians time to relax.
For more information or to donation/sponsor ongoing operational costs and develop projects, email firstname.lastname@example.org.