ADRA Logan Community Centre – Empowering lives beyond immediate relief.

Did you know that in the suburb of Logan Central, a simple food hamper goes beyond providing nourishment – it also brings empowerment?

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to soar, more families than ever are discovering the lifeline that a food hamper represents. A charity providing these vital lifelines is ADRA Community Centre in Logan Central.

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Each week, over 200 hampers are provided to Queenslanders in need. Hampers are filled with essentials that families and individuals need to create nutritious and filling meals that silence the overwhelming noise of hunger. Essential groceries that help fill these hampers are collected from Foodbank Queensland. Brigita, Assistant Manager and Training Coordinator at ADRA Community Centre explained,

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without Foodbank. We get so much from Foodbank, it’s our main supplier. We love Foodbank.”– Brigita

This incredible partnership with ADRA Logan and Foodbank Queensland helps thousands of Queenslanders each year. As ADRA celebrates its 30th year of operations, it’s important to recognise the countless lives the center has touched over the decades.

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Brigita recounted a touching story of a woman in need who turned to ADRA Logan after being kicked out of her home by an abusive partner and left with nothing but a small suitcase. She turned to ADRA Logan as a lifeline.

“She had no food, no clothing, no nothing. Just a little bit of clothes that she was able to grab. So, we gave her food, we gave her a hamper, and I told her to keep coming back. About a month later she came back, and I opened the door, she said, ‘Remember me’? And she looked different because she wasn’t traumatised anymore, she looked happy.”– Brigita

The physical and mental change this woman found from a hamper of food and the connection between Brigita, ADRA Logan volunteers, and staff meant that this woman was able to get back on her feet. Today, she volunteers five days a week, because in her time of need, ADRA Logan was there for her, and now she is there for those experiencing similar situations.

“A lot of people that are volunteering here came first for food. And because they were helped, they now want to come and help somebody else.”  – Brigita

Brigita shared her own incredible story of her time when volunteering at one of ADRA projects twelve years earlier. Food from Foodbank was cooked three nights a week for those homeless nearby, and Brigita volunteered as the cook. Brigita, who had previously fled from Bosnia during the war began chatting with a regular attendee.

“When I escaped the war, my father sent me out here, but my brother stayed in Bosnia and he died. Twelve years ago, I was serving the food there’s this guy…I see him all the time and one day I get talking to him.”

Brigita learned that this man had worked as a paramedic for UNICEF and visited war-torn countries, helping those in need. As a result, he has developed PTSD, making it difficult for him to interact with society.

“I realised he was exactly in the same town that my brother was in and at the same time. And he was a paramedic, so he could have been easily helping my brother. And I thought to myself, here’s a guy who didn’t have to go across the whole world to look after my family. And here he is saying to me, thank you for the meal. And there I am, saying that I should thank him for what he did 20 years before that.”– Brigita

The realisation that he had been in the same town as her brother highlighted the significance and reach of ADRA’s work. The importance of these programs and centres like ADRA Logan cannot be understated. ADRA Logan also provides emergency relief clothing and furniture through the on-site Op Shop. The centre also offers training in Certificate I Conservation and Ecosystem Management (CAEM) and Certificate I Hospitality. ADRA Logan not only helps with emergency relief but also extends its impact beyond its local community.

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Under the Umbrella of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, ADRA Logan connects with other small churches across the state. As part of this connection, ADRA Logan teaches these churches to open their own pantries for their communities. This is all a part of their purpose, as Brigita explains, “That’s our mission so that people can have a pantry, in their own little community, within 15kms.”

With the support of Foodbank Queensland, it’s hoped that this mission is one day realised, as every Queenslander deserves access to nutritious food.

If you are in a position to help Foodbank Queensland provide more food across the state to support Queenslanders in need, please consider joining the fight against hunger as a regular giver.