If you have been at Oasis on a Thursday around midday, you will see a trail of people waiting for the Flinders Community Market to open. I liken this to the Boxing Day sales, where I announce the Market open and people flood in to look for the bargains (may be a slight exaggeration but it’s my Flinders version of it).
The Flinders Community Market offers FREE fresh fruit and vegetables, FREE bread and very low cost food items (like canned food, pasta, rice, milk etc) all purchased from Foodbank and sold for the same price – no profits made. The aim of this is to reduce food insecurity for Flinders students and build connections and community.
As Thursday is the only day we provide this, I wondered if you might want to know where else that you can access free food, and other low cost items we may not provide. I visited two food hubs in particular that I would recommend visiting, if not for the cheap sugary snacks, at least to know that you can afford a bag of healthier food with very little money.
People’s Pantry – O’Halloran Hill
During a sweaty armpit day in February, I visited the People’s Pantry at O’Halloran Hill. There I met Father Richard. I absolutely loved when I met him that he had a long beard, black t-shirt with something written on it too hip for me to understand, tattoos covering both arms and a can of coke in hand. Not whom I expected but I was stoked to speak with him.
His passion for the community and providing affordable food for those who come to the Food Hub was evident and contagious. The People’s Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-2pm, providing free fruit and vegetables, bread and low-cost items (nappies, milk, chocolates etc). The space is set up in the community hall at 1708 Main South Road, O’Halloran Hill, which can be accessed via bus stop 38 on Main South Road.
Upon arrival a smiling volunteer greets you, who will ask for your first name, postcode and how many people you buy for. A gold donation is requested, which goes toward purchasing more fresh food. The food is easily accessed, people are warm and welcoming, and it truly feels like a place where no-one is judged.
In addition to this food hub, the Christ Church offers free family movie nights on the first Friday of every month. Again, a gold coin donation goes towards the enjoyment of a sausage from the BBQ, popcorn and fairy floss as well as the viewing of a family friendly movie. Father Richard assured me that anyone can attend, family or not.
One thing I appreciated about Father Richard was that in the 20 minutes I spoke with him, we did not enter a discussion about faith or Jesus or the like, but simply connected over our shared passion for community development and providing essential services to people in need. What a valuable community man!
Community Food Hub – Adelaide City
If you don’t know where O’Halloran Hill is or would much rather navigate the streets of Adelaide city, then maybe the Community Food Hub, at 216 Wright Street, Adelaide is your cup of tea (or any other well priced drink you may find at this food hub). I visited this food hub on the 21 February (also a reasonably sweaty armpit day).
This food hub is so professionally set up, that it feels like a small supermarket and you can browse comfortably the items stacked on the shelves before approaching the checkout. At the checkout, the friendly volunteer will ask for your concession card, Immi card or relevant Centrelink card, and after sighting it, your items will be impressively scanned for payment.
A favourite part of this shop for me was the artwork that greets you as you enter, with the ramp entrance filled with paintings completed by local community members, and a bottle-top artwork from the Baptist Care art workshop. It creates a wonderful sense of community involvement and mixes perfectly with the otherwise slick set-up of this mini-supermarket.
Hub Coordinator Mike oversees all the operations and volunteers and is a warm approachable man – evident when I met him and an enthusiastic volunteer interrupted our conversation multiple times to ask a questions, which Mike answered warmly and then continued to speak with me. Please visit this if you are close to the city, as services like this will not continue unless people use it, and it honestly is wonderfully affordable food.
Students do not need to go hungry
I am often in awe when students share with me about how little they can eat to survive financially. But you don’t need to go hungry or be nutritionally depleted. Nourish your body with the free fresh food available, whether it be at Flinders or making the effort to visit one of the food hubs. Flyers about the food hubs and other relevant services will be available each week at the Flinders Community Market, or if you have any further questions email me as I like feeling useful!
Remember to nourish your bodies while you nourish your minds here at Flinders.