Stuart Ayres, Member for Penrith, today kicked off National Anti-Poverty Week by cutting potatoes for the Penrith Community Kitchen.
”The Penrith Community Kitchen is a great example of what the local community can do when they work together, and sends an inspiring message of the difference we can make during National Anti-Poverty Week,” Mr Ayres said.
The Penrith Community Kitchen was begun more than ten years ago by a group of dedicated locals after the previous Lifeline kitchen closed down.
Today the Kitchen serves more than 100 meals per day to Penrith’s least fortunate.
”With funds and volunteers drawn from diverse local groups like the Penrith Valley Fund, the Emu Plains Lions, St Nicholas of Myra church, and St Dominic’s College, to name just a few, the Community Kitchen helps those in need and showcases Penrith’s fantastic spirit. There are so many people willing to lend a hand.”
”This is particularly important this week, when we remember that the Australian Council of Social Services estimates there are more than 2 million Australians living in poverty, with all its flow-on effects, like poor health and reduced life expectancy.”
People living in poverty are also at great risk of becoming homeless as the cost of living increases. The latest census data indicated that there are 1420 people homeless in the Nepean region every night. These homeless, as well as showing even lower life expectancy than other groups in society, and reporting escalated levels of mental stress, often also find it harder to get jobs, receive medical treatment, and even to access government assistance.
National Anti-Poverty week aims to promote understanding of these problems here in Australia and overseas, as well as to encourage research into the causes of poverty and its solutions.
More information can be found at: http://www.antipovertyweek.org.au/index.html
”I want to thank everyone who has supported the Penrith Community Kitchen. I urge the people of Penrith and the Lower Mountains this week, and every week, to remember those in our community who are less well off. There is always something we can do to help, however small it is,” Mr Ayres said