News Release

“…draw out thy soul to the hungry…” Isaiah 58:10

This year The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrates the 75th anniversary of its Welfare Programme, and members of the Marion Stake in Adelaide joined the celebration in a very big way.

In January they launched a project to make a food donation to the disadvantaged in their communities. On the September "collection day", 200 Saints streamed into the car park of the Stake Centre, unloaded, organized, packaged and labelled $30,000 in food and happily handed over 350 cartons and pallets to Salvation Army South Australia.

Receiving the food, on behalf of the Salvation Army, was Annette Palombi, who had no idea the donation would be so mammoth. She had to return with a larger truck.

Ms Palombi spoke to the volunteers about the great need for the food, saying that one in four families want of some sort of welfare. She expressed delight and amazement at the crowd there to help and their willingness to properly box and label the items. "This will allow the food to go out much faster to those in need," she said.

The food has gone to Salvation Army Centres, for use in shelters around the Adelaide area, and to APY lands 1200km away.

APY (Anangu, Pitjantjatjara and Yanunytjatjara) are part of a large Aboriginal area in the remote northwest of South Australia. People in the communities there suffer from lack of food and services.

What was in all those boxes? They held cereals, baby food and formula, ring-pull cans of baked beans and spaghetti, tuna, soups, pasta and pasta sauces, tinned fruit and vegetables, rice, flour, sugar, UGT milk, sandwich spreads, basic cooking items, muesli bars, and more.

How did the project happen? For eight months a lot of people did a lot of reminding, saving, buying, and planning.

Initially all stake members were made aware of the drive, and ward missionaries distributed flyers inviting the community to participate.

Enthusiasm grew: families planned strategies, people shopped sales, pocketbooks and pockets were emptied, Mutual nights saw youth in supermarkets with their own money, cash was given to those who could shop by those who could not.

The branch of twenty Saints living on Kangaroo Island—13k off the coast of South Australia—collected $900 in cash and sent two sisters to the mainland to purchase their contribution.

Collection day brought eager volunteers and neighbours who are not members of the Church together—from primary age to eighty-some years—to direct traffic and unload the trucks and trailers that came in a steady stream through the car park.

Marion Stake President Paul Granger said, "I am overwhelmed by the result of the activity. I hope it helps others see the Church as a concerned and community involved people."

10,000 items of food is a good opening statement.


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