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24 February 2011

Goodna Gleaners carried on unscathed

FLOODS may have decimated much of the area around it, but Goodna support service Gleaners Community House escaped largely unscathed.

Gleaners Community House Food Bank volunteers
Brett and Carolyn Swann are welcoming back those
in need in the Goodna area and surrounds.

FLOODS may have decimated much of the area around it, but Goodna support service Gleaners Community House escaped largely unscathed.

Gleaners vice president and Oasis Church Pastor Brett Swann said the Smiths Road building had miraculously evaded the ruin that had befallen St Ives Shopping Village next door.

But as a result of its proximity to the centre, they found people were unaware of their survival and that they were operating again as normal.

"People just assumed we went under," Mr Swann said.

"Even the owner of the building turned up to take pictures of the damage."

Mr Swann said Gleaners were able to offer assistance with cheap food, crisis food parcels, second-hand clothing and a place to connect to people and chat about the struggles they were facing.

The organisation has operated a food bank in the suburb for 10 years. Mr Swann said he expected demand for their services to ramp up as the crisis response wound down.

"What we would do in the past – if we had someone come to us who had been homeless and recently found a new house – is put the word out for furniture and other household items," he said.

"We are expecting that to increase as people re-enter the housing market."

He said the organisation extended its help to whoever needed it.

"We have never had a criteria for who we help," Mr Swann said.

"Even before the floods, we were seeing working families who couldn't afford to put food on the table. It is a class of working poor.

"Rents are expensive, utilities are expensive.

"We are there for everybody."

Gleaners are open from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Wednesday and 6pm to 8pm on Thursday.

For help, contact Oasis Church on 3282 0847.

More local flood news: www.QT.com.au

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