Staples Bag pop up shop in Campbelltown holds first birthday event

Balancing the grocery budget can be a daunting process for many Macarthur families.

But hundreds of locals have benefited from the Staples Bag pop up store in Campbelltown in the past 12 months.

Staples Bag offers a fortnightly supermarket service at discounted prices to people who are financially struggling.

The community joined together today (August 15) to celebrate the service’s one-year anniversary at its Dumaresq Street base.

Staples Bag worker Abeer Nagi said the initiative had been well received by Macarthur families.

Ms Nagi said a truckload of groceries arrived in Campbelltown each fortnight for Staples Bag.

“There is a great need for the service in Macarthur and we are very grateful for the support we’ve had,” she said.

“We have helped 30 to 40 families fortnightly because we understand that shopping can be stressful.

“We know our clients and cater to their needs – we are not judgmental of people’s situations.”

Staples Bag is run by the Macarthur Diversity Services Initiative (MDSI) in partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI).

The initiative has allowed residents to purchase bulk supply groceries for $20 (standard), $30 (family) or $15 (vegetarian).

MDSI representative Jodi-Lee Charnock said Staple Bag helped families shop in a dignified manner.

“We’re in a central location [in Campbelltown] and a lot of people come here on public transport because they don’t own a car,” she said.

“I can’t believe that the store has been open for 12 months already, we love what we do.”

Macarthur Diversity Services Initiative chief executive Karin Vasquez, staff member Peter Lonergan and volunteer Jodi-Lee Charnock before the Campbelltown pop up store launched in 2017. Picture: Jess Layt

Macarthur Diversity Services Initiative chief executive Karin Vasquez, staff member Peter Lonergan and volunteer Jodi-Lee Charnock before the Campbelltown pop up store launched in 2017. Picture: Jess Layt

Leumeah resident Katrina Seppala said she started using the service after her husband was diagnosed with cancer last year.

Ms Seppala said Staples Bag provided invaluable support for her family.

“We have two kids so we are very grateful for it, they’ve been there to help us every fortnight,” she said.

“Coming to the store is not just about saving money, but it helps us make ends meet. It’s a really good service.”

Staples Bag has not only provided benefits for Macarthur families over the past year.

Leumeah’s Jo Pattison, 88, lives by herself and has been a Staples Bag customer for close to 12 months.

Ms Pattison said the Staples Bag service helped her “balance my budget”.

“It can make the difference between me going on an outing or not,” she said.

“The people are so friendly and they’re doing something great for the community.”

Details: The Staples Bag Facebook page or 4627 1188.

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