Carinity giving support with Open Hands

“We were helping about 100 families per week during COVID; we’re now up to three or four times that number.”

Sherifaye Kargbo has witnessed the effects of the cost of living crisis. She coordinates Open Hands Neighbourhood Marketplace, a food relief program run by The House of Prayer church at Pallara, in southern Brisbane.

Grace Kamara, Alex Morseray and Sherifaye Kargbo from House of Prayer are easing the cost of living for families in crisis, by offering discounted food and groceries.
Grace Kamara, Alex Morseray and Sherifaye Kargbo from House of Prayer are easing the cost of living for families in crisis, by offering discounted food and groceries.

The service is helping to reduce the cost of household staples by providing access to discounted foods and groceries – up to 75% off retail price – as well as free food hampers.

Recently arrived refugees, migrants, individuals and families facing crisis access the service, including people from as far away as the Gold Coast.

Sherifaye said demand for Open Hands’ services had “significantly increased” since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We started our food relief services in April 2020 as a direct response to the pandemic. Times were tough then but now, with the increase in the cost of living, the demand has just skyrocketed. We have people experiencing hardship that haven’t in the past.

“Customers say to us, ‘Thank you, we do not know how we would survive otherwise’. It puts a smile on our volunteers’ faces and gives us that push to keep going.”

The House of Prayer is expanding Open Hands Neighbourhood Marketplace with support from Carinity’s Collaborative Community Projects.

Alice Jalloh from Open Hands Neighbourhood Marketplace with service user Ravinder Kaur
Alice Jalloh from Open Hands Neighbourhood Marketplace (right) with service user Ravinder Kaur.

Carinity partners with Queensland Baptist churches to fund community outreach programs that relieve or mitigate disadvantage and promote connectivity for vulnerable people.

“Through this partnership we will soon have a demountable building and proper shop setup with more space to offer food products,” Sherifaye said.

“We’re really grateful to Carinity for their help. It will have a wider impact on the lives of many people who are doing it tough.”

Applications for the next funding round of Collaborative Community Projects closes on 31 August. For more information visit the website.


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