By Margaret Maccoll
Once a month the Salvation Army at Noosaville provides a free Come and Meet Each Other (CAMEO) lunch for people in the area.
The home cooked meal is a welcome treat to people struggling with the rising costs of living and provides a rare opportunity for many to socialize.
On average about 100 go along.
Last Tuesday it was a full room of people who went along to enjoy a lunch of curry and rice.
Noosa MP Sandy Bolton also attended and took the opportunity to discuss the “huge problem” of affordable housing in the area.
She said nine affordable units were being built in Tewantin, which was one step forward in addressing the problem.
Also occurring on the Sunshine Coast region is a pilot program being run by Better Housing Together to organise share units for women aged over 55 years who as a group are identified as among the most in need, she said.
The lunch is just one of many services the Salvation Army is providing to assist an increasing number of people in need in the area.
Spokeswoman Sharne Brennan said each week through their Connect service the organization provided food, blankets, breakfast and a place to just sit and talk for an average of 35 people aged from their mid 20s to 50s.
“The cost of living is so high. We have a lot of homeless. They just can’t afford the rent,” she said.
“We have some regulars and each week there are different people.”
Sharne also organisers activities for the Connect group with art and fishing days on the agenda.
Other programs run by the organization include a successful five-week SCILs program for children at risk of dropping out of school for a variety of reasons.
Sharne said their programs received funding from Salvation Army op shops and family stores and donations from the Red Shield Appeal and Ozharvest assisted them with food.
The Salvation Army church services is held at 10am on Sundays followed by morning tea at 6 Bartlett Road, Noosaville
For more information phone 5442 4218 or visit https://salvos.org.au/noosa/