THE onset of Covid has sent shockwaves through the local community and we are still dealing with the tremors.
Families have been thrown into turmoil with many forced into long isolations and others facing job losses and financial ruin.
It has been a time when community support organisations needed to stand up and be counted and while the names of the Salvation Army, St Vinnies and the Red Cross have been at the forefront many smaller groups are continuing to make outstanding contributions.
In Springfield Lakes Maa Sarada’s Soup Kitchen at the Vedanta Centre reacted quickly to the crisis and went into overdrive.
Their dedicated volunteers rushed in to start sending vanloads of freshly cooked meals out into the community.
Since 2020 the supporters of the centre have cooked and packed more than 10,000 meals and the production line is now ready to be turbo charged.
On Saturday they opened their new commercial kitchen, the result of a major fundraising campaign supported by the Federal Government, the Ipswich City Council and Springfield City Group. Volunteer coordinator of the kitchen, Shankar Kotha, said the pressures of producing and delivering more and more meals meant their original kitchen was at maximum capacity and there was a pressing need to upgrade.
“We had no cool room, just a number of crammed fridges and the cooking facilities were fully taxed,” he said.
“The new modern commercial kitchen is now ready for use and will allow the many volunteers to increase our meal production.”
Maa Sarada’s Kitchen helps many community organisations to get meals out to needy families.
These include Westside Community Centre, Ipswich Youth Justice, Goodna Street Life and The Base Youth Services.