Newcastle charity Soul Café is still dedicated to supporting the community during the coronavirus crisis.
Despite having to modify its operations, the organisation is providing an Express Takeaway Meal Service between 11am and 12.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 7.30am to 8.30am on Fridays.
Soul Café Chief Executive Rick Prosser believes it is just as important for them to operate now as it was before.
“It is critical that at pressure points in the calendar, and COVID-19 is a big pressure point, that charities like ours and others do all that they can to modify and change so that they can deliver to the most vulnerable people in our city,” he says.
Mr Prosser adds that, while the service has had fewer daily visitors, it has been sending more meals out and has found new people looking for help.
He says they have also been trying to help the community, particularly the homeless, understand what is going on and access information.
“Most of us have a capacity to read and absorb information but many vulnerable people don’t have the ability to do that,” he says.
“So, we are giving them information.”
The organisation believes all levels of government are working hard to support the homeless during this time, but Mr Prosser adds there is always room to do more.
“I think the government is doing the best they can, but the reason our charity exists is because people fall through the cracks,” he says.
Soul Café is grateful for all the support it receives but, during this time, it is encouraging the community to avoid donating supplies because COVID-19 has a life on surfaces.
“There are so many generous people in our community and we don’t want to discourage their generosity, but we have to protect our teams and our guests,” Mr Prosser says.
He adds that, if you would like to help, monetary donations and using your voice to raise awareness of the service are deeply valued.
“We are always greatly appreciative of the community; Soul Café is a community response to some deep community needs,” he says.