Food service on menu

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph
Bloodwood Tree chief executive Kelly Howlett, Bloodwood Tree director Telfia Cameron and BHP general manager rail Warren Wellbeloved showing off some of the packages on offer.
Camera IconBloodwood Tree chief executive Kelly Howlett, Bloodwood Tree director Telfia Cameron and BHP general manager rail Warren Wellbeloved showing off some of the packages on offer. Credit: Picture: Sam Jones

Hedland families struggling to put food on the table will soon have access to a Food Bank-style service set up by local not-for-profit association Bloodwood Tree.

Part of BHP’s $50 million Vital Resource Fund, a donation of $119,000 was pledged to create the partnership between Bloodwood Tree and BHP, which will see the transformation of office space to accommodate a mini mart, purchase and freight of food staples, and operation from June 2 until December.

The store will be available to all recognised welfare benefit cardholders, as well as those referred from local agencies and services who are suffering from financial hardship and stress.

Customers will be able to access non-perishable food staples at 20 per cent off local prices, with donated items available at half local prices.

Bloodwood Tree chief executive Kelly Howlett said it was great that, through swift action and the partnership with BHP, a Food Bank-style service would be added to existing social and welfare measures in Hedland.

“This new temporary service will go a long way to assisting those facing food security issues locally, heightened in recent times due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic,” she said.

“The mini mart will be a perfect addition to Bloodwood Tree’s already successful South Hedland Soup Kitchen. The BHP and Bloodwood Tree partnership will see this new service quickly installed as well as a consistent supply of nutritious food staples to meet the immediate need of local individuals and families in Hedland under the current conditions.”

BHP general manager of rail Warren Wellbeloved said the company’s commitment to the town was highlighted by the $50 million Vital Resource Fund, which assisted organisations and programs in health, education and community resilience.

“We’re proud to stand beside Bloodwood Tree as they support the most vulnerable members of our Hedland community, at a time when food security is a real concern,” he said.

The mini mart will be manned using a combination of staff and volunteers and will also offer home delivery for those without access to transport or those who are isolating. Bloodwood Tree also said it would accept donations from community members.

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