All quiet on the Inner West front this Sunday morning. By tomorrow Addi Road Food Pantry Marrickville and our sister store cum food pantry in Camperdown will be stocked and ready for another week.
We serve communities right across the inner west and inner city of Sydney – and many who come from even further away. Both our food pantries operate with a mix of rescued and donated food and stock we purchase to bring some variety and useful direction to what we can offer.
Addi Road are proud of the work we do in this area, providing food relief and what we call ‘food justice’, the right of everyone to a decent and healthy meal at a time when cost-of-living crises are affecting so many and the environment is do affected by how we consume and what is wasted.
A fair and healthy society, a better way of working together and not wasting food, those are some of our goals. Addi Road Food Pantry Marrickville and Addi Road Food Pantry Camperdown are just two small stores, but around them we see every day how people come to shop, meet one another, gather and ‘get by’ in ways that enhance the spirit and resilience of the wider community. Our customers really do inspire us.
Numbers tell a part of that story: Addi Road now feeds around 8,500 people every week while also rescuing an estimated 40,000 kgs of food from going to landfill every month. We see that need growing, food insecurity as a thermometer that reveals many other economic and social struggles. Funnily enough, the building we work in, like so many heritage-listed structures on site at the community centre, was once part of military barracks set up a hundred years ago at the beginning of World War One. Now, of course, we are in a different battle here at home.
Addi Road’s Wednesday Night Lights out front of our food pantry store inside the community centre at Marrickville is an especially special part of our food justice program. Homeless and others battling are joined by locals who simply enjoy the event and the opportunity for some human company and connection. We don’t discriminate or ask people to prove who or what their needs might be. A host of wraparound services are available and on 5 June from 6-8pm Wednesday Night Lights will celebrate its first birthday. Free hot meals and desserts are provided as usual along with fine company and music and the opportunity to shop ‘late’ at our Addi Road Food Pantry Marrivkville. The easiest way to describe it is a community feast where you can access free medical, legal and other services and enjoy the night as well.
Right now, here, it’s another Sunday morning. The organic food markets are whirring into life. Inside the Addi Road Office and the Food Pantry at our Hut 1 location beside the carpark, a few people quietly go about their business preparing for a busy week ahead.
Leaflets and signs and logos on the building and glass doors of the Addi Road Office and Food Pantry tell a part of the story. It’s a great place with a lot more going on than you might know. But it’s the staff, volunteers and community that comes here who truly transform this place and give us continued inspiration in our work… long after the doors are shut, when everything seems quiet, the real ‘food of life’ that brings us back together as one.