Greg Watts, Esther Spicer and Marlene Beattie from Food Assist with an example of their Super Hamper.
Greg Watts, Esther Spicer and Marlene Beattie from Food Assist with an example of their Super Hamper. Benjamin Wilmott

Charity helps Warwick battlers put food on the table

If you were in need of assistance, would you buy a food hamper from Food Assist?

This poll ended on 02 August 2015.

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This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

HARD times strike any family irrespective of working situations and no-one knows that truth better than charity volunteer Esther Spicer.

Mrs Spicer and her husband both work full time to raise their family of five children at Allora but, even with two full-time jobs, the couple knows just how hard it can be to make ends meet with food every week.

Esther has seen plenty of other families dealing with just that problem during her time volunteering for the charity group, Food Assist.

The group has just announced it will operate out of Warwick twice a week, with regular opening hours.

The group and its volunteers have come a long way since they began, just this year they had been operating from a van at Leslie Park for just two hours, once a week.

When they began selling more than 120 food hampers in a single day, group members quickly realised the need for the service in Warwick required a bigger operation.

Now the group will operate from 11.30am-1.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays from its new location at 38 Percy St, Warwick.

Food Assist is part of the not-for-profit Actcare group and has been distributing food to the people of Darling Downs since 1996.

They provide cheap and affordable food hamper packages for anyone who is doing it tough, and they do mean anyone

Families, single parents, pensioners, even teenagers have been taking advantage of the assistance provided by the team members who have donated their time to the charity.

Thanks to their efforts, awareness has quickly grown and so has the number of people leaving the warehouse with arms full of groceries at a discounted price.

One of those happy customers is resident Sonya Watts who said the group was an amazing support for anyone who needed assistance.

"They've helped me so much," Mrs Watts said.

"It's been tough since my injury, but the people here have gotten me through."

Sonya injured her hands in an accident but, thanks to the help of Food Assist and Esther Spicer in particular, putting food on the table hasn't been such a struggle.

Mrs Spicer said the program had opened up that communication between residents about what to do with the food provided and helped encourage people to cook meals with the fresh produce in the hampers.

"A standard meal these days is all about convenience," Spicer said.

"That's just not enough: People need to change their eating habits and know what it is they should be eating instead."

As more people become aware of the service, Mrs Spicer and her team hope to extend the opening hours.


$10: School lunch hamper

$15: Standard box

$30: Super box.

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