It’s like family here, they say. That’s why Annerie, Kerrie and Robyn come and volunteer at the Addi Road Food Pantry every week. This sounds nice, of course. But why keep doing it at the height of another pandemic outbreak in Sydney?
Their answers get more complicated – but they converge on the same points. To help people? Yes, that’s one very good reason. But it’s more of a two-way street than that, they say. Precisely because there is such a strong sense of community here.
Today, for instance, there are five volunteers helping to run the Food Pantry (open Monday to Friday, 12-4pm). Addi Road could not operate this essential service without them at this time.
As it so happens, all five are either retired nurses or flight attendants stood down during the Covid-19 crisis. There’s a lot of skill and ability between them, not least their mutual career training in handling people and coping with emergencies.
“Working at Addi Road Food Pantry has a meaningful value. It lifts the spirits.”
Annerie, Kerrie and Robyn stop to pose at the Food Pantry entrance for a group photo. They laugh about their professional backgrounds and what it means. We love things running well, they say. Knowing what needs to be done. And doing it. There is structure here at Addi Road. And we like that a lot.
Structure. How they love to say that word. The three of them seem to find this passion for order most amusing. Plus, what else are we going to do? Sit at home? We may as well get out and do something that matters.
It goes even deeper than that, of course. You can feel isolated at home, frustrated, a little unable to find yourself clearly in the disempowering blur of lockdown days. Working at Addi Road Food Pantry has a meaningful value. It lifts the spirits. It’s especially inspiring to volunteer and hear everybody’s stories as they come for food.
But we all have our own story for why we come here, they explain. The need and the giving, the donating and the receiving. Each story coming together with another.
You can donate to our food rescue and food justice work here.
You can nominate to volunteer at Addi Road here.