MANNA INC will continue feeding people for free in Weld Square for at least another year.
In 2008 Vincent council let the benevolent food van go there to feed people doing it tough, “until permanent premises was secured”.
But Manna wasn’t able to find a home and 10 years later they’re still at Weld Square, Monday to Friday, serving about 150 cooked meals a day.
Some nearby business owners and residents have complained about Manna, saying the food van attracted undesirable types and that a lot of trash was left in the park.
Manna’s tried to ameliorate those worries, working with Nyoongar Outreach Services to “better manage any incidents”.
The police now have more of a presence at the square and the council’s asked Manna volunteers to be more vigilant about picking up trash.
Not all of the rubbish dropped is Manna’s—some grots let their McDonalds wrappers blow around the park too.
Vincent council has given Manna one-year extensions since 2013, and they’ve now been approved to operate until November 30 2019.
The council waived the normal reserve hire fee of $7,065.
Vincent mayor Emma Cole said “we really strongly support the service and see the need for it to continue”.
The council’s report notes that other nearby parks also have antisocial behaviour and they think Weld Square would have similar levels, even if Manna moved.
The organisation has been handing out free meals for 22 years.
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