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Bloodwood Tree Mini Mart

Hedland families doing it tough during the COVID-19 crisis will get some welcome relief with the launch of the town’s new food bank style service next month.

The Bloodwood Tree Association will open a Mini Mart selling food staples at significantly reduced prices.

Bloodwood Tree chief executive officer Kelly Howlett said there had been a need for this kind of service in Hedland for some time, and the economic impact of the pandemic had made the situation worse.

The Mini Mart is being set up with funding support from BHP’s Vital Resources Fund, a $50 million pool of funding established to support regional communities facing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19.

The store will operate for six months initially but Kelly is hopeful that ongoing support will be found to keep it open in the longer term.

“We want it to be a community-driven Food Bank,” she said. “We need everyone to get behind it.”

Kelly said Bloodwood Tree would welcome donations of non-perishable food and would be running food drives and setting up donation bins at local shopping centres.

The Mini Mart will generally sell goods at 20% below local retail prices, but any donated food items will be offered at 50% below local retail prices.

Staff and volunteers will run the store, and home deliveries will be offered to those without transport or who are self-isolating.

The Mini Mart will open on June 2 and will operate Monday to Friday from 9am to 12 noon at Bloodwood Tree’s Administration Office on Hamilton Road in South Hedland. It is open to all recognised welfare benefit card holders and people suffering financial hardship who have been referred from other local agencies and services.

For more information on how to donate, contact Bloodwood Tree on 9138 3000.