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‘We’ve got you covered’ says food charity boss

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Lockdown worries, confusion surrounding the 5km radius rule, and the closure of several Hunter food charities, has meant Survivors R Us boss Maria Martin is now urging the hungry to come and be fed.

As increasing numbers of food services close due to COVID restrictions, the generous founder of the not-for-profit group has found herself with an influx of nutritious food for those in need.

Unpacking more than 400kg of prepared meals at her Cardiff warehouse on Wednesday afternoon, Maria says she is desperate to get the word out.

“I’m really worried,” she said.

“I’m worried there are people going without food because they don’t understand they can still travel in their area or they’re worried about the 5km rule and they don’t need to be.

“We’ve got roast pork dinners, pasta, butter chicken, shepherds pie..all good comfort food and all really nutritious.”

Maria said after a few charity groups closed during the lockdown, Survivors R Us has been accepting any excess food to help feed those in need in Lake Macquarie.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity,” she said.

“We’ve had two pallets of food delivered today from Foodbank, we’ve been contacted by Oz Harvest who have more fresh food for us, we’ve heard from Sea Salt and Sage Catering who say they’ve go more food for us and then Soul Cafe have been checking to make sure we’re doing okay too.

“I just want the people in need to come and be fed.”

Seniors community members are most concerning, Maria says.

“I’m especially worried about the seniors, when they’re worried about the cost of things they opt for minimal food or they go without, but then they’re not getting the right nourishment,” she said.

“Older members of the community can’t get around as easily either, and they’re worried about the new COVID rules so they don’t leave home.

“We’ve got to all make sure we’re sharing and looking after each other at the moment.”

Operating with minimal staff is stretching resources but Maria says it’s a small sacrifice.

“There are normally 81 on my team and at the moment we’re running on just seven or eight,” she explained.

“I’ve got to look after them too.”

Maria says those coming to the Pendelbury Road address will need to wear a mask, check in, and have their temperature checked.

“My team will help you with this though, don’t worry, just come, we’ve got you covered.

“We’re here to help, that’s the only reason we set up this charity. 

“If you need food, if you need supplies, if you need counselling, we’re still here for you, please, please reach out.”

* As per new restrictions introduced for all of regional NSW, effective from Sunday 22 August, Hunter residents must stay within their Local Government Area (LGA) or, if they need to travel to a neighbouring LGA they must stay within 5km of their home. Masks must be worn and residents must travel with proof of purchase.

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