Samantha Cram, Helen Eccleston and Kaye Hicks.

The Cootamundra Ex-Services Club and its members have made a generous donation to the Cootamundra Red Cross Foodbank.

The Ex-Services Club decided that the Red Cross would be their chosen charity through the ClubsNSW ‘Do Something Day’ initiative after they were a great sup-porter of the Club’s Cash Bingo.

Three trollies were placed in the foyer of the Ex-Services Club with staff encouraging members and visitors to go in and leave some items in the trollies which were then donated to the Cootamundra Red Cross Foodbank.

“They really came up on our radar as an organisation that was requiring help which is why we decided to support them.” Ex-Services Manager Megan Sawyer said.

Through this initiative Megan believes it was the community that were the main driving force rather than the Club itself.

“It is really the community giving back to the community we just host the venue.”

Red Cross volunteer shop coordinator Helen Eccleston said the donation means everything.

“The donation has meant so much to the people who utilise the Foodbank.”

“There were a lot of things on the shelves that I can’t get which is wonderful. The customers have also asked me to thank the club on their behalf.”

Helen said the generous donation has saved the Foodbank a great amount of money.

“This donation has saved us $500, it could be more.”

On the morning of Friday August 6, Foodbank was filled with many different items ready for the customers to come in and buy what they need.

Helen informed the Times that the shelves of the Foodbank were empty by Friday afternoon.

“From this you can see food bank is a vital thing in our community.”

Megan said it was a great feeling handing over the trollies to the Food bank due to a great response from the community.

“This was probably the biggest response we have ever had and it was a great to be able to help the community out.”

Eugene and Lorraine Diego are two of the many customers that use the food bank and say that it helps them out a lot.

“It’s great, you only pay $10 and you get so much. The variety of items is also great.” Eugene said.

“It helps your pension go a long way, the items help fill your pot up and makes sure you don’t starve.” Lorraine said.

Eugene and Lorraine are very grateful for the Red Cross Foodbank with both saying “Without Helen the Foodbank wouldn’t work. She is the best in the world.”

The relationship between the Red Cross Food Bank and the Ex-Services was established when Helen approached the Ex-Services Club in April to see if they could assist with providing a fridge for the Foodbank.

The Ex-Services Club were happy to assist and provided a fridge-freezer for the Food Bank and have continued to support the Red Cross Foodbank ever since.

The great thing about the Foodbank and the support from the community is they are not just helping people within their own town but also surrounding areas.

“We have people coming from Harden, Junee, Temora, Young and other surrounding areas.” Helen said.

Since opening in April, Helen says she has seen a huge number of people use the Foodbank.

“Right now there is over 169 people registered people with well over 600 returning clients.”

Megan said “It is surprising to hear how many people around the community that are in need but its both great and sad to see how many people are utilising the facility.”

If you would like to help out the Red Cross Foodbank, Helen is asking for small donations of money or any food items that they believe will benefit the Foodbank.

“All money donated will go back into the Foodbank. As long as the food items donated are in date we will take them.”

These donations will be a great help to those who need this assistance even more. Foodbank is available to anyone who is on Centrelink payments and is opened on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am until 2pm.

Tahlia Crane