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I WAS 18 WHEN MY FAMILY BECAME HOMELESS

Food brings people together and the kids at the community centre would arrive knowing they could get a nourishing breakfast, lunch or dinner.

. . . and I had to live in youth refuge crisis accommodation. I discovered OzHarvest at Granville Community Centre, where good quality fresh food was regularly delivered. I thought the council provided it, but my supervisor told me it came from OzHarvest. I was blown away when I found out and promised myself I would meet whoever started this fantastic organisation! A few months later, I attended a National Young Leaders Day, where Ronni Kahn was a guest speaker. I could not believe it! At the end of her speech my hand shot up and I stared at the MC until he gave me the microphone. I introduced myself and just said a simple thank you on behalf of all the young people, for giving us food. I was tearing up and Ronni was too, in a rush of emotion I asked for a hug!

 

Under the spotlight, in front of thousands of people, I felt like time stood while we had our hug. It was a life-changing moment for me and we’ve been friends ever since. OzHarvest helped me in so many ways, beyond just providing food, it gave me hope, courage and purpose. I’m now a qualified youth worker and take great pride in giving back to the Belmore Centre where I received so much support from an early age. Ronni is a wonderful maternal figure and I know my life will be good as she has my back and is always available for a hug!

 

— Paniora Nukunuku

     OzHarvest recipient