Every evening, volunteers gather in Midland and Ellenbrook to serve meals to those who need it most.
It doesn’t matter how chilly it is, they are there seven nights a week, dishing up food from the heart.
There are free clothes and blankets available, too, so people can stay warm long after their last mouthful.
It’s all part of a program called Midland Meals, started in September 2019 by local pastor Loren Pratt.
“I experienced food insecurity myself 30-odd years ago and I have this discontent that I don’t want to see anyone go hungry or lonely overnight in my city,” Mr Pratt said.
“I do it because I love people and I love seeing people lifted up and given some sort of hope each time we hand them a plate.
“It comes from the heart.”
In September 2020, one year after the program launched in Midland, volunteers started serving nightly meals from a second site, this time in Ellenbrook.
Mr Pratt said he had noticed a rise in the number of families getting their dinner from Midland Meals, an alarming sign of the cost-of-living crisis.
“The families have increased – the people coming in their cars and the families that are struggling to pay for their utilities,” he said.
This week (August 7-13) is Homelessness Week, when Australia shines a light on homelessness and the long-term solutions such as social housing.
But for Mr Pratt and his team of volunteers, every week is a chance to improve the quality of life of those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
Well over 100 volunteers pitch in when they can – including City of Swan staff and Councillors – to cook, transport, reheat and serve the food.
But there is always room for more help.
- Midland Meals serves food from 6pm in Midland (near Midland Police Station on Cosmo Lane) and Ellenbrook (near Coolamon Pavilion on Bonney Lane).
- Follow Midland Meals on Facebook.