May 2, 2019
Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the South Burnett Pantry in Kingaroy, thanks to a grant from the Ergon-Energex Community Fund.
The 3.24kW solar system will reduce the running costs for the Kingaroy pantry, which operates a commercial cool room, fridges and freezers for its bulk fruit and vegetables, and chilled and frozen stock.
Ergon Energy Fraser Burnett Area Manager Nick Grant said the $5000 allocation to the Pantry was among 25 grants totalling more than $100,000 awarded to groups across Queensland.
Pantry general manager James Bennett thanked Ergon for the funding, saying that reducing power costs by an estimated 10 per cent would greatly assist the sustainability of the Pantry, ensuring food aid continues to be available for the community.
“Each week, we supply more than 100 hampers for our customers experiencing food insecurity and hunger,” he said.
“We provide food aid to vulnerable low-income families, homeless, Indigenous, disabled, unemployed, aged, rural and remote community members, improving their ability to meet their other costs such as rent, health care, power and petrol.
“Community members pay a $40 handling fee and choose non-perishable foods, fruit, vegetables, dairy, meats, household cleaners and personal care items valued between $120 and $150.
“Welfare agencies also purchase vouchers to supply to their clients who require emergency assistance.
“The Pantry not only feeds their bodily needs, but also their emotional and social needs by welcoming, accepting, helping and caring – our foremost concern is to extend dignity and respect to all who come.
“Being able to reduce the costs of providing this community service through this grant for solar panels is a huge bonus for the ongoing viability of the pantry.”