14 July 2022
The rising cost of living and a recent influx of refugees has prompted a parish in Melbourne’s north-western suburbs to provide food packages to those experiencing disadvantage.
The Anglican Parish of St Matthew’s Glenroy and St Linus’ Merlynston recently registered as a Foodbank agency, a move which parish vicar Reverend Robert Koren said made their food distribution efforts more expansive and generous.
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He said the move was primarily sparked by a desire to provide food to refugees from Ukraine who were waiting on visas for work.
Mr Koren said that as the son of a Croatian refugee who fled Europe during World War II, both food security and the needs of refugees were close to his heart.
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Mr Koren only began as parish priest at St Matthew’s and St Linus’ in May, but he said that at his previous appointment he had also set up a Foodbank distribution centre.
He said they had already been distributing food out of St Matthew’s and St Linus’ in partnership with a Ukrainian centre, but that the Foodbank registration allowed them to distribute even more food.
“Instead of 20 or 30 [kilograms] of food, [we] can [now provide] 800 kilograms in one hit,” he said.
“[It] makes it more expansive and generous.”
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Mr Koren said the church was also in the process of establishing a partnership with a community group who provided job training for those with special needs.
He planned to offer participants in this training program an opportunity to get involved in the food distribution process.
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