Offering a link to community
Glenn Wysman (L) with volunteers from The Link Community Care.
As the Pittwater community began to feel the full effect of COVID-19 industry closures and imposed isolation, Glenn Wysman felt compelled to help.
A local pastor and director of charity The Link Community Care, Glenn hoped to relieve some of the burden experienced by vulnerable families by keeping them fed during these difficult times.
“A lot of people are doing it tough, so if we can just provide some sort of assistance or help, take the pressure off a little bit, then that’s what it’s all about,” he explains to Peninsula Living.
“We want to provide the sense that there is support in their area.”
For the past month, Glenn and his team at The Link Community Care have provided Northern Beaches locals with over 1,500 grocery hampers and packed lunches.
The CAREHAMPER initiative, operated out of Pittwater RSL, has offered those in need staple groceries, a fresh loaf of bread and two warm, cooked meals from the RSL chefs for just $10.
Meanwhile, the LUNCHBOXES program, based out of Pittwater Sports Centre, has seen 40 to 50 locals a day receive a free nutritious lunch of a bottle of water, a sandwich, a snack and a piece of fruit.
“For some of the elderly customers of Pittwater RSL, that was their community and it got shut down. So, we’re trying to create something for them to do each day by coming and collecting a meal,” Glenn says.
“On the other hand, with parents and kids at home, we wanted to take away one stress by providing lunchboxes to allow parents to one, save money, and two, have a bit of stress relief.
“There’s, obviously, the physical need [to be fed], but the emotional side as well.”
Despite the State Government announcement that children will return to school full-time from next week, Glenn says the charity will continue to provide its food programs for some time yet.
Lunches will be available from the Sports Centre between 11:30am and 1:30pm and, longer term, The Link has taken over a warehouse in Warriewood where it intends to establish a facility offering ongoing support.
“We want those that do need assistance to know where to go; where to come to for ready and available help when needed,” says Glenn.
Locals wishing to support the programs are encouraged to donate funds or non-perishable goods, or volunteer to pack and distribute hampers. For more information, visit The Link Community Care website.