Resident Stories & Competitions
01 April 2022

Riverside Resident Flood Relief

It has been a challenging month for many with devastating floods washing away a lifetime of memories. Whilst residents at the Riverside Community on the north coast of NSW call themselves lucky, the surrounding local towns can’t say the same.


Having survived cyclone Tracy in Darwin many years ago, Judith Patterson understands firsthand the devastation a natural disaster brings. “During the heavy rains the water was coming up near 200m from the community, we were so lucky at Riverside to not have been significantly affected by the floods. Our neighbouring towns of Woodburn, Lismore, Broadwater, and Coraki have been left completely devastated. I knew I needed to do something to help where I could,” said Judith.


After contacting a fellow resident who volunteers at the local neighbourhood centre, Judith made her way into town to help the neighbourhood centre Chef and volunteers with cooking hot meals for those in need. “I grabbed some of the women from the Riverside Community and we went in to help cook – we cooked 80 meals that day. The facilities were small and there were so many people in need that I thought, be it on my shoulders and I asked if we could cook from the Riverside community centre as we have a large kitchen. It boomed from there!” said Judith.

Pictured: Residents from the Riverside Community coming together to cook meals for those in need.

In the past three weeks, Judith, the neighbourhood Chef, and fellow residents from the Riverside Community have cooked and delivered over 4,000 meals to those affected by the floods. “The hot meals go to areas that are desperate for food. People have been contacting the neighbourhood centre who then let us know where the food is needing to go. Other local residents from neighbouring towns got involved by volunteering themselves and their boats to deliver the food to those who are isolated. The Evans Head community really came together in this time of need,” said Judith.


Whilst at first it was difficult to source produce to make nutritious hot meals as there was a shortage of food at the grocery store, the team did what they could to cook tasty meals in bulk. “Our go to hot meals are fried rice, chop suey, curries, bolognaise, pasta dishes, tuna bakes, and soup for those who are a little bit older and finding it hard to eat a full meal,” said Judith. All those take away containers finally came handy, with resident pulling together what they have to be able to safely contain the food for those to enjoy.

Pictured: The wonderful Riverside residents volunteering their time to assist with cooking meals.

“Since the floods we have been going 7 days a week starting at 9am and finishing around 6pm some days to do our best to cook as many meals as possible. Chef is there instructing us on what hot meals we will be cooking and delegating tasks to stirrers and choppers. Just this morning we finished 100 sandwiches to be sent to one of the local schools for the kids,” said Judith.


Judith who has been a resident at the Riverside Community for almost five years and is the president of the social club, recently held a Pizza, Pasta Night Flood Relief Fundraiser raising
$2,000 with cash donations still coming in. “Our plan is for the social club to purchase gift cards with the funds raised from places such as Kmart, Big W, and The Good Guys to then distribute them personally to those affected in the nearby town of Woodburn. It’s not a large amount but it’s something to help those who are needing to start over and rebuild,” concluded Judith.

Receive our magazine and helpful information delivered to your inbox.Subscribe today
Share
New and pre-loved Homes

There are many ways to live in a Hometown community

New HomesYou have the option to customise your home and make it yours, with a choice of facades, colours and finishes.
New HomesYou have the option to customise your home and make it yours, with a choice of facades, colours and finishes.
New HomesYou have the option to customise your home and make it yours, with a choice of facades, colours and finishes.
New HomesYou have the option to customise your home and make it yours, with a choice of facades, colours and finishes.
A new way of living