Tara is a self-declared saver who hates waste, she is a mother of three children aged from 1 to 14, and lives in the Newcastle area.

Every day she manages the needs of her family of five: juggling school runs, caring for her baby, balancing the household budget and finding ways to get fresh and affordable food.

About three years ago, Tara discovered BaptistCare HopeStreet and its low-cost grocery services could provide her with nutritious and affordable food and importantly, the savings she needs to cover her weekly bills.

“It’s part of my weekly shopping routine. I go in for the fresh delivery of milk, bread, fruit and vegetables on a Thursday morning. The quality is really good and they are open to anyone; there are no exclusions,” Tara shares.

“On a good week, I save $15 to $20; that’s a whole week of baby formula!”

“I have always looked for ways to save money. Until I met my partner five years ago I was a single parent and it was difficult to manage. I learned to make money stretch further. And now it is even more important, with three growing kids!” said Tara.

Tara would like to see an increase in the number of young people who access HopeStreet to source affordable food. “It’s too late when you have dug yourself into a hole. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Go in there and don’t feel like a less-fortunate person because of finances. It is not a desperate thing to do. It’s smart,” Tara said.

Manager at HopeStreet in Newcastle, Craig Budden, agrees. “So many people that have come to us don’t end up at HopeStreet until it’s the very last straw – we can help before that, and make sure that the cycle of unpaid bills and struggling to make ends meet doesn’t continue.”

In 2018, BaptistCare HopeStreet served 56,126 meals, provided 2,188 food vouchers and distributed 3,026 emergency food packs to families and individuals living with food insecurity.