Wollondilly Council to help community pantry take service to Warragamba

Community first: Our Community Pantry founder Paula Zrilic is looking to expand services in the Wollondilly shire. Picture: Edwina Pickles
Community first: Our Community Pantry founder Paula Zrilic is looking to expand services in the Wollondilly shire. Picture: Edwina Pickles

Our Community Pantry helps thousands of Wollondilly residents keep their households afloat.

The Bargo pantry service provides affordable groceries, essential household items, family meals and free fruit, vegetables, milk and bread to those who need it.

Now the community organisation hopes to expand their services in the shire and Wollondilly Council wants to help them out.

Councillors voted in favour of helping Our Community Pantry expand their services to Warragamba at February's council meeting.

Councillor Judith Hannan said the organisation was in need of a second home.

"The pantry down in the Bargo area is extremely successful and the people who work there have wanted to open up a new location in Warragamba," she said.

"They need time to trial it though to make sure it works so I wanted the council to help them find a space to run the trial out of."

Cr Hannan said the location was yet to be determined but there were a few viable options in Warragamba that could work.

"We could look at a shop premises or a council owned building - we even have the hall down that way," she said.

"I want to leave it up to council staff to find the best location for the trial.

"It can be difficult for the pantry volunteers to carry this food around and they need a space with fridges and freezers because they do make a lot of meals as well."

Cr Hannan said the pantry service was vital for many families across the shire.

"With the cost of living so high there are many people who struggle to provide good, healthy meals for their family," she said.

"I would love to see them set up a permanent shop in Warragamba."