Inner West Independent

Addison Road Community Centre “strikes a blow for goodness” during lockdown crisis

Juliana Jamaluddin, Addi Road Board member; Olivia Wilson-Zarganis, Inner West Multicultural Network Community Project Officer; Rosanna Barbero, Addi Road CEO. Photo: supplied.

By EVA BAXTER

Addison Road Community Centre is a small community organisation churning out thousands of food hampers.

Addi Road is a food aid organisation and a community development organisation, which means its business is in demand during a crisis.

Within a few months of COVID disrupting life in Sydney, the organisation went from working with around 10 or 12 organisations to over 60.

Addison Road has seen a 20% rise in demand every week since the beginning of the lockdown this year, and the centre is almost bursting at the seams.

“We’re in week 5 now, so that’s about a 100% increase in the number of people that are requesting food,” Rosanna Barbero CEO of Addi Road told the Independent.

“That’s alarming because most of those people are people that have not come to us previously for food, so these are the people that are now suffering, those that have lost their jobs, those that have been stood down.

“Even without government support, we’re making things happen,” said Barbero.

Barbero worked for Oxfam in Cambodia during SARS and understood immediately the impact that COVID was going to have.

She knew that many other charities would close, leaving thousands of people in immediate and urgent need. She knew that people would be laid off, casual work would cease, and that many people have limited to no savings, so she set up a food hamper crisis relief centre.

Packing boxes strikes a blow for goodness every morning. Photo: Supplied

Haven of goodness

“Today the organisation is literally feeding thousands of people every week and churning out food hampers,” Craig Foster, an ambassador for Addi Road and former Socceroo, told the Independent.

Foster said it gives hope to those in desperate need, but also to those who are connected to the organisation. The hundreds of people who volunteer, the staff and the people picking up boxes are all connected and engaged through the hub of Addison Road.

“Without that work of Addison Road those people would be in very dire straits.

“Everyone feels as though, as hard as the world is at the moment, we’re able to, at least every morning, strike a blow for goodness, commonality, togetherness, community, just by packing these boxes and getting it to people who have less than we do,” he said.

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