The Sapphire Community Pantry is delivering emergency food and grocery supplies to people who are isolating at home due to COVID and have no other way to access supplies.
The need for this service was first raised by Dr Duncan Mackinnon of the Bega Valley Medical Practice, who saw many of his patients coming down with COVID or having to isolate without sufficient groceries
The pantry is working with its own volunteers as well as people from Grace Church and Rotary to deliver the service.
President of the pantry Christine Welsh said the service was reserved for those who have COVID or are isolating suddenly due to being a close contact and are of limited means, don't have anyone to shop for them, or are unable to navigate online shopping at a major supermarket.
"We won't be replacing regular supermarket online shopping. If people can use that service they should continue to do so," she said.
On Tuesday, the emergency service was utilised for the first time by a mother and her son who were both COVID positive and isolating.
The woman was on a casual wage, unable to afford the minimum online shopping spend for delivery, and a regular pantry user, so reached out to the organisation for food for her family.
Ms Welsh said they were provided with an emergency hamper with basics such as rescued fruit and vegetables, bread, frozen meat, meals, and paracetamol.
"We have a limited number of free Foodbank emergency hampers containing enough food for four people for a week."
The pantry can also put together a hamper for the cost of the recovery price of the items sought.
There are a limited number of essential items such as tinned soup, pasta, rice, sauces, cereals, noodles, tinned tomatoes, corn, vegetables, tuna, at cost-recovery prices.
Also available are sanitary products, toilet paper, soap, free rescued meat, free rescued fruit and vegetables, free rescued bread.
Once the order is taken and paid for via bank transfer or credit card, it will be put together at the Pantry and then delivered, contactless, by a volunteer.
"I want to be clear here that we're not replacing Woolies here, if you can afford to do a home shop at Woolies please do that.
"We're doing it for people who are isolated, who don't have someone who can go into a supermarket and pick up food for them, or are very financially strapped and can't afford to do that."
To use this service, contact Christine Welsh on 0438 407 364 who can further explain the process or email email@example.com.
Due to supply chain issues all over the country, they are also struggling to get rescued produce from the major supermarkets, and reduced non-perishables from Food Bank.
If you would like to help out, the pantry is in desperate need of donated garden produce as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Otherwise please check your kitchen cupboards for donated good which are unopened, undamaged and in date, such as tinned fruit, cereal, soups, pasta, pet food, tinned fish/salmon/tuna, tinned meals, and treats.
Food donations can be brought to the Pantry, 2 Peden Street, Bega, on Tuesday to Fridays, between 9am and 3pm.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.