FoodCare charity doesn't go to waste when Cassandra and Nick need a helping hand

EMERGENCY SERVICES: Cassandra Beckingham and Nick Smyth with their son Alex Kosanovis use FoodCare only for emergencies. Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER.0826lsfoodcare2

EMERGENCY SERVICES: Cassandra Beckingham and Nick Smyth with their son Alex Kosanovis use FoodCare only for emergencies. Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER.0826lsfoodcare2

WHILE Cassandra Beckingham and Nick Smyth say they hate having to turn to FoodCare Orange for help, without the food charity they admit life would be tough.

Ms Beckingham, who has a six-month-old son, says she works one day a week, while her partner is unemployed.

Mr Smyth says he is  looking for work but believes many employers unfairly judge him as being unfit for work because of his weight.

“I’m a hard worker and I’ll do anything and I’m a quick learner,” he said.

“I’ll have a go at anything, retail, labouring, anything.”

Mr Smyth said the couple’s limited income meant  at the end of the week food was scarce.

“We don’t come here every week, we only come down here when it’s an emergency and this service is really, really helpful,” he said.

Thanks to FoodCare the couple are able to top up their supplies of milk, bread, eggs, vegetables and nappies at a fraction of the retail cost.

Ms Beckingham said before FoodCare they had to eat toast for meals or rely on what they’d been able to put aside in the freezer.

“My mum and dad come here and they told me it was really good,” she said.

“At first we didn’t like asking people for help but my parents said it was OK.”

Yesterday FoodCare was given an extra funding boost thanks to a $13,140 grant that will allow the service to offer workshops on reusing leftovers.

The food workshops, conducted by MasterChef winner Kate Bracks, will show people how to maximise the use of their food through meal planning, careful shopping and food storage.

Member for Orange Andrew Gee said the grant was going to a worthy cause with FoodCare Orange providing a vital service to local families who found it hard to make ends meet.

“Unfortunately I’m not surprised how many people need FoodCare, but it’s good to see how well utilised it is,” Mr Gee said.

“This grant will have the dual benefit of helping families make their food go further, while also minimising waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.”

This Love Food Hate Waste grant is part of the Environment Protection Authority’s $465.7 million Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

FoodCare committee member Anne Hopwood said funding for the workshops was “great news”.

“The workshops will focus on using seasonal produce,” Mrs Hopwood said.

Orange City Council will also offer its support for the workshops by providing participants with a number of useful items such as storage containers.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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