Central Coast social housing tenants and other members of the community are again able to access low cost grocery items with Compass Housing Services reopening The Shack Shop at its The Meeting Place community hub in Tumbi Umbi.
Compass had to close the service, which is largely staffed by volunteers, as a health and safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hub’s community participation officer, Maureen Hunter, said the shop provides low cost staple foods and frozen goods made available through Food Bank. Ms Hunter said free Second Bite bakery items are available most days and they sometimes have some free seasonal fruit and vegetables.
The Shack Shop is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am.
“We wanted to be able to resume this important local service,” Ms Hunter said.
“Being able to access affordable groceries and fruit and vegetables helps reduce people’s living costs to free up money for other living expenses such as rent and utilities,” she said.
“We also have lots of low-cost personal hygiene, washing and cleaning products.”
“It also encourages tenants to cook and eat well, rather than relying on take away foods.”
Ms Hunter said that the Shack Shop is ensuring it is COVID-19 safe to protect customers and staff. Only two customers are allowed in the shop at any one time. Temperature checks and hand sanitiser application is mandatory upon entering the shop.
She said the Hub is working to reintroduce other community services and events in the coming months, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Meeting Place is an award-winning community hub established in 2011 by Compass in partnership Housing NSW. It is designed to foster a more inclusive environment to diminish barriers between social housing and the general community. It won the national 2018 PowerHousing Award for tenant engagement and social inclusion. Compass has replicated the model in Broken Hill.