A husband and wife team are fighting poverty in Western Sydney by handing out free food to some of the areas most disadvantaged households and families through their charity Labour of Love.
Three times a week Pastor Mafi Marzhew and his wife, Pastor Denise, hold their food drive in numerous locations across Western Sydney, bringing some much needed relief to locals who struggle to make ends meet.
Pastor Mafi said he and his wife started the charity because they feel it is the right thing to do.
“It was just a calling for me. I had to sacrifice everything, even earning money, just to come out here to do this,” Pastor Mafi said.
“It is all about free love, you’ve got to practice what you preach.”
The couple picks up bruised and over stocked produce including bread, fruit and vegetables donated from local suppliers and distribute it to hungry families across Western Sydney up to three times a week.
With a small army of volunteers the couple set up a row of tables in local carparks with the food on top and distributes the food around the crowd.
Each week the charity feeds around 800 people across the West, and recently the charity has been set up at Emerton soccer ovals.
Phoebe Griffiths, from Lethbridge Park, survives off the donations Labour of Love hand out. “It helps our family a lot. Without their help we wouldn’t get through,” she said.
After she saw how Labour of Love helps a family first hand, Phoebe decided to volunteer and help hand out deliveries in a hope that she could lend a hand to those in need.
“They help me so I want to help them give back to the community,” she said.
Labour of Love relies on donations to keep the charity going, and even though there is a constant outpouring of support from local business, Pastor Mafi is struggling to have Labour of Love reach its full potential.
“The main issue that I’m facing here is that I need more space. I need the facilities to facilitate all of this,” the Pastor said.
The truck the couple use is a rental, and because they don’t have a big enough refrigerated warehouse they turn down hundreds of donations of perishable goods a week.
“We have a lot of food but all I can only bring out what I can fit in the rental truck, and we need a factory to keep everything fresh.”
Even with these hurdles the couple are still staying strong and hope to help make the Western Sydney community a better place.