• Mental
  • Hospitality
  • Community
  • Christmas 2022

    This Christmas we need your help to raise the funds necessary to celebrate the festive season with our guests, and to continue our work in 2023. We have big plans!

    During the past couple of years, we have all experienced the cumulative impacts of covid, natural disasters, inflation, and the rising cost of living. For some, these obstacles and stresses have pushed them to the brink. We now see an increase in the number of people coming to us for assistance every day through Meals Plus.

    The number of meals served each month has increased by 39% since January 2022.

    Many of our guests are at immediate risk of homelessness…. some are already without a place to call home… and the number is growing.

    The lack of affordable housing continues to be a problem. Currently there are around 50,000 people on the waiting list for public housing assistance in NSW. At the current rate this means that it would take around 70 years to provide a home for everyone on the list. There are many more who are at risk of homelessness due to rising rent costs and inflation, along with stagnant income and rising bills.

    Your help is needed in order to continue this work. Your donation is needed now more than ever.

    With your support, the Meals Plus team has been working hard to grow our network within the community – to become a hub for services delivering vital assistance to those in need. By bringing services to the people who need them, we can transform lives in the most meaningful ways. We can find suitable accommodation options for those who are currently homeless and can often prevent homelessness through easing financial strain and accessing low or no cost options for food and essentials.

    Please give what you can today, to make a positive change for someone in need. A little can go a long way, together we can do great things.

    Every person who comes through our doors has their own unique story and individual needs. They are all worthy of whatever we can offer. One story that comes to mind from a recent conversation at Meals Plus is that of Mireille.

    Mireille recently came to Meals Plus for the first time. She is a single mum, living in a private rental with her daughter after having left an abusive relationship. She receives a parenting payment and hopes to return to work when her daughter is old enough for school. Her only family is her father who recently entered aged care and she tries to visit him as often as possible. The weight of bills and increased cost of everyday essentials has put her under extreme financial stress and in the past few months she has been struggling more and more to make ends meet.

    Mireille arrived at Meals Plus with her four-year-old daughter and was clearly nervous. A staff member approached her and offered assistance, he gave her a toy and a book to occupy her daughter while she spoke to our program coordinator about what she needed and how we could help. She then sat for lunch with other guests, and by the end of lunch she was relaxed, smiling and happy to speak about what had bought her to Meals Plus that day…

    “I have been getting by for a long time, just. I found ways to make the little money I had get us through each fortnight. I had been able to get what my daughter and I needed and managed somehow to pay the rent and bills on time. But slowly things have been more and more difficult. I’ve been too afraid to ask for help but when I went to the kitchen yesterday and realised I was down to just a banana and some milk and no money for a few more days, I looked into my daughter’s eyes I knew I had to do something. I wasn’t sure where to go but someone told me about Meals Plus when I was enquiring at another service.

    When I arrived, I was a little overwhelmed, but received assistance and reassurance from the staff, volunteers and other visitors at the service, everyone was so welcoming. We (my daughter and I) got lunch and some food to take home including my daughters’ favourite snacks. I was told to come back the following day for fruit and vegetables and essentials, whatever they had they were so generous in offering. I also learned about the community hub, how I could get assistance with savings finder and have someone help me with my bills. I now have hope, and a place to come when I need to. I am relieved and happy to know that there is help. I am hopeful that with assistance I can get back on track financially and won’t have to worry about being able to pay the rent.”

    Meals Plus is a place of acceptance and understanding and offers practical, immediate help to those in need. For those like Mireille it can be the first step towards safety and security.

    Your support has enabled us to do so much for people like Mireille, but we need your help to do more.

    Please give with a generous heart, knowing you are making a difference this Christmas and beyond.

    A special thing about Meals Plus is the feeling of community, inclusion and understanding extended to all our guests. As our supporters you are contributing to making sure no one feels alone.

    Included in this pack is a special Christmas card, but it’s not for you to keep! We invite you to write a message for one of the guests attending Christmas Lunch, so that we can pass on your support. A special message from you will show them that they are not alone and that you care, a small gesture that can make a big difference. Simply write your message and return it in the envelope provided with your donation.

    Your special message and thoughtful donation this Christmas will ensure that we can provide meaningful assistance when people need it most and will pass on the gift of hope and encouragement to someone this Christmas.

    As the city grows around us you can help to ensure that there is a safe place for those in need, where they can come to receive assistance and understanding without judgement.

    Your donation will ensure we can continue to provide meals and essentials each day, and to grow our service to incorporate more programs for our guests. Please give generously this Christmas.

    We need to act as a community to assist our neighbours. Parramatta Mission is both a caretaker and safe haven for those who may have nowhere else to go, providing inclusion and hope every day in the heart of Parramatta.

    It is a big statement, but proven through the work Meals Plus does, that together we can make positive change in the lives of others.

    Thank you for your continued support

    We wish you and your family a safe and happy festive season.

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    Thanks to your generosity and support over the past twelve months,
    Meals Plus has been able to provide for our guests

    46,060 meals
    36,890 coffees
    7,655 food parcels
    1,477 home deliveries
    2,154 essentials packs
    503 showers
    417 loads of laundry

    We have also provided free haircuts, podiatry services, hearing tests, vaccinations, assistance with bills, accommodation, identification, and outreach services.

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