Welcome Relief Meals Program
St Mary’s House of Welcome provides services to people who are sleeping rough, homeless, drug and alcohol dependent, have pyscho-social disabilities, and/or severe mental health issues or are otherwise deeply disadvantaged. They are socially isolated and extremely vulnerable. They either do not have the means to feed themselves (no kitchen facilities, money for food), or lack the living skills to be able to prepare nutritious meals. The “Welcome Relief Meals Program” provides breakfast, lunch, and morning tea to around 200 of our service users each day. Meals are served at a table by staff and volunteers, to provide a sense of dignity.
For people experiencing homelessness, having regular easy access to warm, nutritious meals in a safe environment makes a significant improvement to mental and physical health through factors such as decreased risk of disease, better stress management, increased concentration and sleep quality, better mental and physical wellbeing, and increased security. The Welcome Relief Meals program is a vital project that provides meals and emergency food hampers to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our community. The hampers ensure that our service users have access to food outside of our service hours, and that every experience that is personalised and centred around each service user’s individual needs. Not only does the meals program improve mental and physical wellbeing of our service users, but it also creates a community and support network to remind them that they are valued and cared for.