HELPING OUT: Anglicare Low Cost Food Assist Centre Proserpine store supervisor Emma Buckman with some of the items available in the store.
HELPING OUT: Anglicare Low Cost Food Assist Centre Proserpine store supervisor Emma Buckman with some of the items available in the store. Monique Preston

Low-cost food centre going better than expected

AFTER four months of operation, a Proserpine shop that provides a low-cost food alternative for people with a pension card has been hailed a success by those who run it.

The Anglicare Low Cost Food Assist Centre, which opened on November 1, sees between 20 and 30 people every day purchase goods at the store.

Store supervisor Emma Buckman was pleased with how well the store was going, saying it had exceeded expectations already.

"It's going absolutely fantastic," she said.

"We have big families, little families, single parents and a lot of seniors (shop here)."

The shop currently sells non-perishable items, with the items changing weekly depending on what the centre is able to get in each week.

There is a $25 limit placed on shopping in the store to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to buy items.

"The concept is people for every $10 they get, they walk out with $20 to $30 worth of food," Ms Buckman said.

She said the centre attracted people, from not only Proserpine, but from as far away as Jubilee Pocket, Bowen, Collinsville, Bloomsbury and Midge Point and anyone with a pension card was able to shop there.

Ms Buckman said the store, which was run by Proserpine Community Centre in collaboration with Anglicare Mackay, allowed people to buy food at a cheaper price than it was available elsewhere.

"To quote John Langford of Anglicare Mackay, it's a hand up, not a hand out," she said.

Co-ordinator of the Proserpine Community Centre administering the shop, Ingrid Ruck, said the centre had becoming a real community project, with people helping each other, and others just dropping in these days to say hello to the volunteers working there.

"It's doing really good things," she said.

Ms Buckman also praised the shops volunteers, many of whom were also pensioners themselves.

"We have some absolutely gorgeous volunteers," she said.

"They are amazing people."


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