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'So many are struggling': new food pantry and library open to those in need

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A new community food pantry to help those in need has been established on the Sunshine Coast.

The Eaton Park Community Group has worked together with Sunshine Coast Council to install the pantry and free community library in Sippy Downs.

Located at Eaton Park, on the corner of Eaton Street and Magellan Crescent, the pantry and library will be open 24 hours a day.

The council constructed and installed the pantry and library cabinet, with the community group to manage it and the contents to ensure they are appropriate and clean.

Kira Simmons, a member of the Eaton Park Community Group, was among those who worked with the council to support the initiative.

“So many families in Sippy Downs are struggling and too frequently I see posts of desperation around having to choose between buying food or paying rent,” Mrs Simmons said.

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“If this local pantry can make someone’s life easier, its purpose is fulfilled.

“A few families in our neighbourhood have been getting together for years to think about service, community building and how to raise children with strong morals.

“Our community group has also started a small community garden and it has really started to bring the neighbourhood together, and I think we will see something similar with the local pantry and library.”

Members of the Eaton Park Community Group at their new community pantry.

Division 6 councillor Christian Dickson said it was uplifting how the Sippy Downs community continued to support and care for one another.

“Community pantries and libraries are great community-led initiatives, and I understand that this is important for the local Sippy Downs community,” Cr Dickson said.

“We had received requests from the Eaton Park Community Group for a combined food pantry and library unit and I was more than happy to invest $10,000 back into the community for this.

“Food pantries ensure that vulnerable individuals have access to nourishing food.

“They help families in crisis and are a great way to build connections within the community, making communities stronger and providing a way for people to help one another.

“With the cost of living increasing, I know the pressures on families and people living in our communities can become too much.

“This food pantry is open for anyone who needs a helping hand; no need to ask, just come and take what you need, knowing your community has your back.”

The council has installed the unit on a trial basis of six months.

“If anyone would like to join a group of people building a vibrant neighbourhood, closer community connections and service, we have regular community garden meetings and you can find information on our Facebook page,” Mrs Simmons said.

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