Warm food hits homes

Community Abundance workers Ajak, Guil Deng, Deng Kor and Santino Lual are part of the emergency relief team.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A South East-based social service is delivering packages of hot-cooked Covid relief to hundreds of vulnerable residents.

Since mid-July, Community Abundance’s emergency relief team have been cooking up about 300 food kits, emergency items and African meals a month. The nourishing fare is available either cool or warm and can be picked-up or delivered by fully-vaccinated volunteers across Melbourne.

“We’re supporting vulnerable people, such as those who are disabled, single parents, elderly, unemployed and homeless,” general manager Deng Kor said.

Their relief program’s State funding runs out at the end of December amid fears continued lockdown will fuel further desperation.

“People are pretty desperate. They appreciate the help.”

At the same time, efforts are being made to bridge the vaccine-rate gap between Greater Dandenong and the rest of Victoria.

Mr Kor says the group had been spreading the word to “take Covid seriously” and get vaccinated.

The “terrible” vaccination booking system was one hindrance in culturally diverse communities, he said. Distrust in vaccines was also a factor.

Each day, the team called up to 20 people to talk through the issue “one on one”.

“In the multicultural community, they sometimes have a different view or no view on vaccines,” Mr Deng said.

“I say although I’m not a medical doctor, I’m sure it’s safe to do it.”

For help, call Community Abundance after hours on 0423 054 292