The latest news from SJOS / St Joseph’s Outreach Services Inc.

| September 21, 2020


The COVID restrictions have somewhat reduced the capacity of SJOS, but services are still being provided by the wonderful SJOS volunteers who are assisting the emergency relief needs. There has not been any movement in the SJOS Housing Units and the COVID Safe Plan is being monitored.


The activity in the Food Store and the Bread Bank continues, and the number of families seeking help is increasing. Nearly 100 families visited the Food Store in the first 2 weeks of September 2020.

SJOS Garden Club Seed Table

Patron: Sir James Gobbo AV CVO

President: Ms Janet Maher


St Joseph’s Outreach Services (SJOS)
Post Office Box 21
South Yarra VIC 3141



For those who visit and leave food products for SJOS in the basket outside the glass doors of St Joseph’s Church, a very big THANK YOU! Recently someone has been leaving some biscuit “treats” and they are much enjoyed by the food store visitors. Arrowroot Biscuits and Scotch Finger Biscuits are the normal par stock for the Food Store, so Mint Tim Tams are a real treat.

Our mission is to provide transitional housing and
support services to those in need, regardless of race
or creed and to work towards relieving the effects of
poverty in our community.


Thank you to all the volunteers who have continued to make themselves available during this challenging period. The Food Store, Bread Bank and Housing Units remain open under the SJOS COVID Safe Plan with Permitted Worker Permits in place and appropriate PPE is used.


The SJOS Garden Club is now providing the Food Store with fresh garden produce, harvested weekly. Packets of Thyme, Flat Leaf Parsley, Curly Parsley, Chives, Mint, Baby Cabbage, Broad Beans, Silver Beet and Red Chard have been prepared by the roster of Garden Club members who maintain the garden and continue to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit. The visitors to the Food Store are most appreciative of the fresh produce and they seem quite impressed that SJOS is growing produce for those visiting the Food Store. Over recent weeks a lot of effort by the Garden Club Team has been in the preparation of the new beds along the south wall and beds for a potato crop. Several different varieties of potatoes have been selected to be grown in the garden. The team worked on creating firmer structures and sourcing mulch, manure, blood and bone and dynamic lifter. They also moved the seed table into a new, more sunny part of the garden area.

SJOS Fresh Vegetables


The new layout in the Food Store and the COVID Safe Plan has allowed the store to stay open and it is really great to see all the visitors following the mask regulations and hand sanitising rules. Many are regular visitors, but during the past few weeks, more and more new faces are visiting for assistance. The store is still providing eggs and cheese, and the food staples like milk, sugar, tea, coffee, honey, rice, pasta and cereal are available.


The supply of bread to the Bread Bank has been extremely bountiful over the past weeks. The new bakery on Chapel Street, Rustica, has been very supportive of SJOS, and the team there has been putting their leftover “gourmet” bread into plastic bags for the freezer. The bread is still being collected from Woolworths Chapel Street every morning, Monday through Thursday, while every Thursday night Baker’s Delight make us welcome and provides all their leftover bread for packing and storing into freezers. Many thanks to all those SJOS Bread Bank Volunteers.


In February 2020, SJOS started to sell tickets as part of the annual Combined Catholic Parishes Raffle in order to raise some funds for SJOS and the services provided. However, along came COVID, and the continuance of ticket sales had to be halted when we went into lockdown, with no meetings, no gatherings and no events. The SJOS Film Night, the SJOS Sausage Sizzles and other fundraising activities were also postponed or cancelled for 2020. Raffles with major prizes are monitored by the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and as many tickets had already been sold, the raffle had to continue. COVID made it very difficult, but it was finally decided that the new date for the drawing of the winning tickets would be Saturday 26 September 2020. There were 600 tickets sold by SJOS, (out of the original batch of 1000 tickets), and the ticket stubs were returned by Australia Post Express Post to the raffle administration office on Monday 14 September 2020. Raffle winners will be notified and “Good Luck” to everyone who purchased a ticket.


There is still a great need for additional volunteers. The rosters for October are being prepared now, so if you are available to help with the Food Store or the Bread Bank, please complete the volunteer form on If you know of a family member or friend, who would like to give back to the community, volunteering for SJOS is a great opportunity to really support the relief services for those disadvantaged and marginalized. Thank you to the new volunteers.


SJOS | | | Post Office Box 21, South Yarra VIC 3141

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