More than 100 hampers were handed out over two weeks as part of a drive-thru service at Hope Cottage, Gorokan.

Our team on the Central Coast have been supporting local families experiencing hardship during lockdown.

BaptistCare HopeStreet Community Chaplain, Donna Knee said the outpouring from the church and the community has been immense, as is the ongoing demand. She works alongside the Lakes Baptist Church where Hope Cottage is located, as well as with support from HopeStreet Windale as needed.

“Hope Cottage is now a vehicle for the church and greater community, and our heart is to give without an agenda. There’s no judgement. I think anyone who comes here is blown away by that,” said Donna.

Hope Cottage has consolidated its efforts to make giving more sustainable as lockdown continues by bagging essential food items including fruit, vegetables, eggs and bread for contact-less and drive-thru pickup, as well as offering low-priced groceries at their walk-in store.

“At least 40 food support parcels go out each week. We’re seeing a lot of families, single mums, and elderly people too. There’s a whole lot of people that normally could afford food and resources, but they currently can’t. There are people experiencing homelessness, and young people who are couchsurfing that come to get food.”

The Hope Cottage team collect phone numbers of recipients and check in during the week to see if they can offer any further support.

Recent feedback from another local service confirmed the team’s impact, saying, “Clients have been saying how nice they are treated at Hope Cottage. At times, they have been made to feel like they should not be asking for help, but Hope Cottage has loved them and made them feel like they are being cared for by friends and family.”

The partnership between Lakes Baptist Church and BaptistCare HopeStreet showcases what can be achieved, especially in challenging times, when people come together with heart for the local community.