Grants boost volunteering, output at The Mustard Tree

The Mustard Tree Op Shop and Cafe volunteers were handed a cheque for $5000 by Community Bank Wandin/Seville to supply a new dishwasher. Picture: SUPPLIED.

By Mikayla van Loon

The Mustard Tree Op Shop and Cafe has been bolstered with funding supporting the work it does daily to give back to the community at many levels.

Community Bank Wandin/Seville donated over $5000 to the mostly volunteer organisation to purchase a new commercial dishwasher.

The Mustard Tree (TMT) manager Lisa Vincent said it was certainly an upgrade on what the cafe was previously using.

“Our old dishwasher was purchased second hand many years ago and was not coping with demand,” she said.

“The new dishwasher is more than a foodsafe compliance issue. Our café is becoming increasingly busy so this new equipment has enabled us to improve our productivity and continue to offer quality café food at reduced prices for a community doing it tough.”

Grants of this kind, Ms Vincent said, allows the profits made from the op shop and cafe sales to go back into one of the key programs TMT runs; the foodbank.

Ms Vincent said the foodbank this year alone has seen a 36 per cent rise in clients, a substantial indication of how the community is struggling.

Sales in the op shop and cafe ensure the foodbank can purchase pantry staples, meat, toiletries, petfood and other essential items for people to access by appointment.

In August 2022, TMT’s foodbank was seeing an average of 90 people per month, either as an individual or representing a family.