Christine Mastello started a food bank in Lake Macquarie in 2013 with her own savings. At the time, her 15-year-old child was recovering from a stroke and her five-year-old with autism had four appointments a week. That didn’t stop Christine from seeing a need in her community and meeting it.
Christine’s not-for-profit, Southlakes Incorporated, now runs two walk-in food banks with three home delivery areas and supplies breakfast clubs at six schools. Southlakes hands out hundreds of hampers, pre-cooked meals, and essentials every week – including clothing. We have experienced the magical moments of handing food hampers over to tenants needing a little help, which can be an emotional encounter.
Southlakes delivered free food to 26,000 people during the first two years of COVID-19. It also donated $1.2 million to homeless groups all around New South Wales when lockdowns meant volunteers couldn’t help in person.
Christine also founded Community Hair Project, which is now nationwide. Volunteer hairdressers offer free haircuts and a toiletry kit to those in need. The program passed its 50,000th cut in 2022. It helps restore dignity and a massive boost to confidence.For people that feel like no one cares, the pampering experience reminds them that there are people out there wanting to help.
The Wiseberry team has been fortunate enough to help with spreading the love through food hampers, clothing collections, and providing teams to assist in sorting.Every little bit of helps these organisations and if you have any spare time and want to change people’s lives, please reach out to the team at Southlakes incorporated.https://www.facebook.com/SouthlakeFoodCare
We are cheering loudly for Christine to win and acknowledge that the nomination alone is a massive recognition of her amazing life-changing work.As a project manager for the Wiseberry team, I am also extremely proud of our team for supporting such a huge cause.