24 June 2022

Yass mum wants to give back to town that saved her - with a food bank

| Sally Hopman
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Soup can

Have you got some non-perishable items to share? The new Yass Pantry is looking for donations. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Amy is 28 and a mother of three children, one of whom has autism.

She moved to Yass a few years ago looking for a safe place to raise her children after experiencing a dark time in her life.

Today, she feels fortunate to have found a town and people who have made her and her children feel as though they belong – an emotion she hasn’t felt for some time.

She has secure housing now and, after years of uncertainty about her future, is well on her way to a better place in life.

Now she wants to help others. She believes her ability to relate to issues of domestic violence, poverty, homelessness and hardship places her in a prime position to do so.

“Yes, I know how they feel because I have been through all that too, but one thing I have realised is how important it is to keep moving forward and aim for a better future,” she said.

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Amy is studying for her Bachelor of Social Work. Her dream job is to help people in the human services sector, particularly those who experience mental health issues.

“I know what it’s like to be homeless, to be worried about what your kids will eat next, where you’re going to stay that night. I really know what that’s like,” she said.

“So that’s why I feel so grateful to the people of Yass who have made me feel so welcome. I am just so lucky to have found this place.”

Amy said once she felt secure with a roof over her family’s head she decided she wanted to give back. The original plan was to set up a soup kitchen where she could provide nourishment for those who needed it. But there was just too much red tape involved.

Shelves of food

When you’re doing the weekly shop and if you can afford to, buy a couple of extra items for the new Yass Pantry, which is scheduled to open soon. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Then she realised something was missing in Yass, something she could help remedy – a food pantry.

She posted her idea on social media and was overwhelmed with the response. Yes people wanted it and they wanted to help her achieve it.

Food and other assistance are available in the Yass Valley through charities and churches but Amy believes something as simple as a central place where they can go to get what they need to feed their families is required. It would also be the place where people could just as easily go to donate food or their time.

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Amy has already spoken to the Yass Valley Council and some other community organisations in town – and has secured initial support for the food pantry plan. She’s also been offered some suggestions for possible locations.

“I’m really driven to do this,” Amy said. “I’m passionate about making a difference to this town that has been so good to my family.

“Setting this up will give me a great sense of purpose.”

If you’re interested in supporting the food pantry for Yass, email your details and how you can help to [email protected]

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