President Martyn, presenting Certificate of Appreciation to Christine Welsh
Christine gave us an interesting overview of her work with the Community Pantry, Ricky’s, and Oz Harvest.  In 2013, Christine and Peter retired to the Bega Valley and they started a branch of Oz Harvest in 2013.  After much research, the Community Pantry started in 2017 in Bega in the corner of the Salvation Army Op Shop and they had over 100 shoppers on the first day.  They moved into their current location in 2018, which gave them larger premises.  They obtain a range of groceries including fruit and vegetables from Foodbank NSW and provide food at very low prices; it is safe food, it may be that the food is in boxes that have old advertising or is close to ‘Best Before Date’.  The Pantry is a place designed to be welcoming, non-judgemental and non-discriminatory. As many of their customers live in surrounding villages and cannot get to Bega, they also operate a mobile pantry to Bemboka once a fortnight.
They offer other programs – Chop, Chat, Chew – it’s a free, 5 week cookery course which enables lonely people a chance to get to know others whilst enjoying an activity.  Chopping food whilst chatting and chewing and enjoying the food at the end of each session.  Chop, Chat, Chew is supported by funding from CoordinareThe course covers food safety, nutrition and how to serve food properly.  Courses have been run in Bega, Bemboka, Qaama, Eden and Cobargo.
They are looking for volunteer leaders who have the ability to get on with people, not be judgemental and must be kind. For more information please click on: and