As more people self-isolate due to the COVID-19 threat, services such as Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre's Food Connect will become pivotal.
The food rescue service works to collect, deliver and distribute food within the community. This food is collected from various outlets across the Hastings by volunteers.
It is delivered to the neighbourhood centre where it is then sorted and offered to those who are disadvantaged, struggling with basic daily living needs, or just doing it tough
With the federal government announcing on Sunday evening a shutdown of non-essential services along with a second round of stimulus measures, the centre is continuing with its Food Connect program, says spokesperson Julie Trowbridge.
"We have closed down all our other services apart from Food Connect and electricity vouchers at this stage," she said.
"As an essential service, the government is asking us to remain open.
"Since COVID-19 has taken hold, we are getting more enquiries.
"These enquiries are mainly regarding Food Connect and if it is still operating.
"Some people who cannot leave their homes to get food or medications, are restricted in accessing foods."
Mrs Trowbridge said there has been a downturn in the quantity of food being rescued since COVID-19 was first mentioned.
She said bread supplies went down noticeably while on some days there was no food at all available to pick up.
"However, we still managed to get nine crates of bread and fruit and veg today (Monday) which is about our lowest that we would hand out," she added.
Mrs Trowbridge said she expected enquiries to increase as the full impact of the Australia-wide shutdown takes hold.
"We can see that people will be in need as their jobs are lost. This is probably a service that people will turn to.
"As more people isolate themselves, we may have to look at how we evolve the service.
"But right now we don't know what that will look like. We plan to stay open as long as we can offering food," she said.
The federal government's economic stimulus plan includes support for households, including casuals, sole-traders, retirees and income support; assistance for businesses to keep people in a job, and; regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business.
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Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie said the government wanted to help businesses keep going as best they can for as long as they can.
"We need to ensure that when this crisis has passed Australian businesses can bounce back," he said.
"Our measures are geared towards keeping people in work, providing a safety net for those that aren't in work and keeping businesses alive so they can get to the other side.
"We all have a role in keeping these small family businesses open, they are the ones who sponsor our local netball and football teams, donate to our raffles."
Cowper MP Pat Conaghan described the COVID-19 threat as "unchartered waters".
"With the exception of those older Australians who lived through the great wars and depression, none of us have ever experienced this kind of nation-wide challenge," he said.
"With this in mind, I think we should look at our past to determine our future, and in doing so we should embrace and replicate the strength and resilience of our history and doggedness of the Australian character.
"Our older Australians justifiably wear as a badge of honour the years of sacrifice and suffering they endured.
"They can do so because they lived through those years with dignity, decorum and mateship.
"They maintained community values and looked out for each other particularly when the days were at their darkest. They worked together, not as individuals.
"They had each other's backs and let no one fall behind."
Mr Conaghan said looking out for each other at the moment means practicing good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance away from other people.
He said these two actions are our most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and hopefully saving lives.
"Now is the time to be calm, considerate and compassionate," he added.
To learn more about support measures the government has in place for small-medium businesses visit the website or call 1800 020 080.
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