Single mother of three Zena has weeks where she has been unable to afford to feed her family.
Zena, who only wants to be known by her first name, is one of many people struggling and in need of extra help as restrictions keep eight Sydney local governments areas (LGAs) in hard lockdown.
In response, the Community Care Kitchen (CCK) has set up a COVID relief hotline, offering food and other essential services to help people in tough situations.
Like many others, Zena was able to turn to CCK for help with food supplies.
“I contacted Rima [from CCK] and I said, ‘hun, is it OK, am I entitled … can I get something to eat for me and my kids,'” the south-west Sydney resident told the ABC.
“Then they ordered us pizza and gosh, a lot of pizza that would be enough for days.”
The director of CCK, Sana Atarangi Karanouh, said hundreds of families called to ask for help every day.
“We have at least 300 to 400 families per week,” she said.
Ms Karanouh said international students, refugees, asylum seekers, single parents, and low-income families have also been contacting the organisation.
Without any grants or sponsorship, the female-run group of more than 20 women has been relying on donations from the community.
The organisation also helps struggling restaurants and cafes by buying food from them to boost revenue.
Ms Karanouh said the idea came about when she noticed many local cafes and restaurants were struggling and only doing takeaway orders during lockdown.
She said the idea was a “two-way” benefit for both businesses and families struggling.
“So in that way, we pay the restaurant,” she said.
“And then the restaurant would give us the food … and we would deliver it to the families who need it.”