LIFE SAVER: Ipswich Foodbarn managing director Qim Kauwhata with donations from Costco.
LIFE SAVER: Ipswich Foodbarn managing director Qim Kauwhata with donations from Costco. Rob Williams

How Costco is helping struggling families

LIFE has come full circle for Ipswich Foodbarn managing director Qim Kauwhata.

When Ms Kauwhata first walked through the doors of the food bank, it was as a person in need.

"I came on board about six months after they opened. I found myself needing the Foodbarn," Ms Kauwhata said. "I came in for a hamper about seven and a half years ago. I liked what they did and what they stood for and volunteered."

The food bank helps to feed people with food donated by big supermarkets and charities.

Ms Kauwhata's pastor lost his battle with cancer and the decision to make her Foodbarn's managing director was unanimous.

But how does it work? Companies donate excess produce to the food bank which then alerts those in need via social media.

"We'll see about 6500 every time a post goes up on Facebook," Ms Kauwhata said.

More than one tonne of food every day is distributed now Costco and Coles Karalee have come on board.

"We've been here since the 2011 floods. Costco came on board last week, along with Coles in Karalee," she said.

"We're appreciating these massive companies that aren't even in the area. They see where we're trying to help out so they send food out by the tonne."

Apart from fresh produce, the charity also receives frozen goods, meats and baked goods.

"We get all the bakery items from the day before. Just to give you an idea, baked goods hit the floor here at 9am and we ran out at 10.30am," Ms Kauwhata said.

The company receives food from Food Bank Queensland, Second Bite and Oz Harvest.

If you're in need, follow Ipswich Foodbarn on Facebook, or get down to see them at 1 Darling St East, Woodend.



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