By Jack Delfs
From the now until Monday October 19th Australia is participating in Anti-Poverty Week which aims to address the issues of poverty in society.
One group whose mission is to provide hot and healthy meals for those that need them most in Perth is Manna.
Manna was founded by John and Bev Lowe in 1996 when the couple saw the need to help a group of homeless people within an inner city park by serving them a simple bowl of soup and bread.
Their services have now expanded, providing up to 250 meals per day out of their lunchtime program as well as providing local primary schools with meals for children who often come to school without having an adequate breakfast.
Nicki McKenzie, CEO of Manna believes the group owes it’s success to their approach to their work and the quality of their volunteers.
“The ethos of our volunteers, of our board and of everyone involved is just ‘be there to help the people’.
“If a homeless person can come to us for a meal and if that is a regular thing they can look forward to then that’s enough for us. Knowing we can do that for them is enough,” said McKenzie.
Being a non-profit Manna relies on the support of corporate partnerships and community donations to continue their work but McKenzie says while pure donations are always welcome she hopes people will become more intimately involved with what Manna represents.
“We don’t just want money we want people to connect to what we do. We want to create more empathy in the world because a lot of people look at homeless people and judge them,” said McKenzie.
Manna hosts an information evening once a month with the next meeting to be held on the 23rd of October at 5 Mackie Street in Victoria Park.
There you can listen to the founders John and Bev Lowe speak of the Manna story and ethos as well as learn how you can be involved in the services they provide.