Gift of Bread is a fantastic example of inner west ingenuity.
Volunteers collect excess bread donated from local bakeries, slice it up, pack it and supply it to community organisations throughout the inner west.
An average 5,000 units of bread each week, or roughly 260,000 units per year, are shared with more than 100 community organisations, including the St Vincent de Paul Society, Youth Off The Streets, the Exodus Foundation, the Asylum Seeker Centre, women's refuges, boarding houses and many others. Additionally, Gift of Bread supports nutrition programs run by some of those community organisations, including the Red Cross Good Start Breakfast Club. It also delivers directly to many individuals and vulnerable families.
Recently I had the pleasure of opening its newly refurbished Outreach Centre at St Brigid's, Marrickville. It is there every night that one can meet volunteers preparing the simple gift of bread for those in need.
I pay tribute to Marcel de Maria and his amazing team of volunteers, as well as directors Valerian Rego, Joe Gonzalez and Nick Tropea and again congratulate them all on taking a simple idea and making a huge impact in our community.