The lead up to Christmas is proving a busy time for Matt.
As a Foodbank volunteer, he sees first hand the impact cost of living pressures are having on South Australians and he’s proud he can play some role in supporting the most vulnerable, especially during the festive season.
Matt, who lives in Junction housing at Oaklands Park, spends three mornings a week building pallets, moving stock and supporting the everyday operations at Foodbank’s Edwardstown warehouse.
Taking on his new role in February, Matt quickly gained new skills and is one of the 700 volunteers across SA who are vital to the running of this crucial service.
“Matt has certainly come out of his shell, he’s now part of the furniture,” Tony, Foodbank Edwardstown’s Warehouse Manager, said. “He really does enjoy it too, which is great.”
Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, operating on a scale that makes it crucial to the work of the front line charities supporting vulnerable Australians.
Foodbank provides more than 70 per cent of the food rescued for food relief organisations nation-wide.
From delivery drivers to shop front and customer support, the efforts of the dedicated volunteers stretch far and wide across nine shops and warehouses in metropolitan and rural SA. The Edwardstown service, alone, supports roughly 2000 people per month, giving away 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables and 6-7000 loaves of bread each week.
“Without volunteers and donations, we couldn’t function,” Tony said.
Matt plays a crucial role in keeping the warehouse safe and tidy – with no task too big or little for him to tackle.
“I like sweeping,” Matt said. “I like packing, I like moving pallets of stock, I like everything.”
But, he admits, it’s the social interactions and being part of a team that supports the community he loves the most.
“I enjoy being a volunteer. It’s really rewarding.”