AN Ellenbrook meal kitchen, which provides meals to more than a thousand people in need per week, has a new home at the Ellenbrook District Open Space, making it more accessible for those doing it tough.
The Ellenbrook and Oldridge Soup and Meal Kitchen has gone from cooking 200 to more than 2000 free meals per week in the past three months.
The soup kitchen, which started from humble beginnings in resident Lorraine Oldridges’ own kitchen, will now be able to provide meals to more people thanks to help from the City of Swan.
Ms Oldridge said councillors Kevin Bailey and Cate Mccullough had been essential is organising the move.
“It’s taken the pressure off not having the meal kitchen at my own house,” she said.
“The community also feels better about having it there and it’ll be less confronting for people who are in need.
“I’m hoping now I’ll be able to help more homeless people too.”
Ms Oldridge said the meal kitchen had grown beyond her wildest dreams in the past three months.
“Our product range that we are donating has changed, we now supply baby formula, clothing and are helping find furniture and stocking fridges for those who are really doing it tough,” she said.
“We are also making 200 sandwiches per week and giving fruit to schools in Ellenbrook for students who don’t have any lunch.”
Ms Oldridge started the meal kitchen in honour of her mother who was always willing to help others.
She said community support and local businesses were an integral part of the operation.
“The support from the City of Swan and Kevin Bailey and Cate Mccullough has meant everything,” she said.
“If it wasn’t for them I think I would have failed by now.
“There are so many businesses who supply fruit and vegies, bread and juices to use each week and I post a list on our Facebook page each week and the community helps provide what I need that week.”
Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said the City was pleased to help the meal kitchen.
“The soup kitchen will operate from the City’s Ellenbrook District Open Space facility every Friday, as a standard booking, until the end of December. We are very pleased that we have been able to assist Lorraine and the fantastic work she is doing in the community,” he said.
Councillor Bailey said the meal kitchen was an outstanding charity.
“The need out in Ellenbrook is quite unbelievable,” he said.
“I was quite shocked by just how many people were doing it tough and it’s great that we can help Lorraine make a difference.”
Cr McCullough said the new location for the meal kitchen would help bring people together.
“As well as the meal kitchen every Friday, we want to help organise a monthly get together for the whole community to come together and to help connect people in Ellenbrook and create a support network.”
The Ellenbrook and Oldridge Soup and Meal Kitchen runs from 4pm to 6.30pm every Friday at the Ellenbrook District Open Space on Maffina Parade in Ellenbrook.
Anyone who is in need or looking to donate is encouraged to visit the Facebook page Ellenbrook Oldridge Soup and Meal Kitchen.