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Helping Hunter Families

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De-anne Douglas and Donna McLaughlin

Delicious hot meals were cooked up and served free of charge to Hunter Valley families and individuals in need this month, thanks to Malabar Resources and Blackroo Industries.

‘Malabar’s food, friends and conversations’ event took place on Sunday 27 June at the Muswellbrook Senior Citizens Hall. The event was fully funded by Malabar with Blackroo helping to coordinate and encourage families to attend.

“It was really an opportunity for people to come together in a warm place over a meal, and to speak with one another and form connections,” Blackroo’s De-anne Douglas said.

“The threat of hunger and not knowing where your next meal will come from is a real issue facing too many Australians, made worse by the economic shocks of the coronavirus, bushfires and floods.

“Hot meals are so important, but of greater long-term value is the opportunity to establish personal bonds with others in the community. These relationships help ensure no one is left behind when life isn’t going to plan.”

“I’ve had so much positive feedback from the community. The night was a massive success and people are already asking when we will hold another event. We were able to provide over 55 hot meals including amazing desserts and provide free haircuts to members of our local community. For some of these families, a simple haircut is a luxury that they can’t afford. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be involved in this event with Malabar.”

De-anne is the Work Placement Coordinator at Blackrock Industries, a 100% Indigenous owned service company, and Mentor for its Second Chance for Change program. She also spearheads Blackroo – a Community Hope Program to support locals in need through direct assistance.

“I was so grateful when Donna from Malabar approached me to partner with them on this event,” De-anne said. “I am so pleased with how it all came together and to have the opportunity to hear from our community about their needs going forward and the gaps we can help fill.”

Malabar’s Manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Community, Donna McLaughlin, said the event was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the community and provide support for those doing it tough this winter. 

“The idea was that even something so simple as a hot meal can help those who might be struggling financially and also bring the community closer together.

“It was such a great night and a great way for the community to come together in a COVID-safe way to share a meal and a conversation. A massive thank you to all the volunteers that helped us cook, clean, serve meals, hand out face masks and just generally making sure everyone was looked after. It was heart-warming to see so much community spirt. We’ve had such great feedback and we are glad that we could help the community in these tough times.”

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