Cupboards are bare for JBS workers

'Angel Annie' Watson wants to create a Community Pantry to help struggling families
'Angel Annie' Watson wants to create a Community Pantry to help struggling families Rob Williams

WHAT started as a simple donation of some bread has snowballed into a 'community pantry', and it is all the work of one Ipswich woman.

Angie Watson, a worker at JBS Dinmore, said shift cuts were starting impact employees, and she wanted to do something to help.

"People were going a lot of days without work, each lost day cut 25% of our wages, and it was starting to cut deep for some,” she said.

"I could see people coming to work, stressed and worrying over how they will put food on the table for their families.”

A call to 'Pastor Phil' at Westside Christian Church saw two trays of bread delivered to the lunchroom.

"I could see from their faces that everyone was shocked, people hesitated to take the bread until I explained it was a community donation.”

Mrs Watson then partnered with Helen Youngberry of Goodna Street Life to organise a food drive for JBS workers, with other charities and the Ipswich community all helping out.

"Helen contacted Signal Flare in Brisbane, and they came up with many donations, as well as other charities who came to help.”

What started as a four hour 'wait and see' turned into 660 families in 1 1/2 hours, and a determination to do it again.

"It brought home the struggle for families as people try to get by, and still be loyal to the company.

"We are doing a second Community Pantry on Saturday, October 1, although this will be the final time for Goodna Street Life as the host.”

Mrs Watson said Goodna Street Life were 'fantastic', but this was outside their normal operations.

"They have plenty of other activities they do to help the homeless, we appreciate them helping to get us started.”

Donations of fruit and vegetables are being taken, as well as non-perishable food items and hygiene items, Mrs Watson said.

"I am working to get a refrigerated trailer so we can accept meat and dairy items for Saturday, but all support is appreciated.”

Donations for this Saturday can be left at Goonda Street Life, 2a Mill Street, Goodna.

Topics:  food drive, ipswich, jbs dinmore

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