Christmas comes early in Yellow Rock

There were 200 loaves of bread, more than 5000 sausages, pallets of chips and drinks, hampers and even a pallet of unwrapped toys to choose from.

The home of Alison Herd and Adam Jackson at 68 Yellow Rock Road was the drop off point last Friday for Foodbank NSW, a not-for-profit, independent charity that provides food and material 

aid to individuals and families experiencing hardship. 

And it was just the Christmas present fire victims needed at their community-organised Christmas in Yellow Rock, with the party at the same address over the weekend.

“Our neighbours need this, that’s why [we organised it],” Barry Jones told the Gazette when the goods were dropped off by a truck on Friday.

Mr Jones and his partner Lauren Linsley contacted sponsors and with the help of Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre (a member of Foodbank) ensured public liability was in place for the event, to bring a little cheer to Yellow Rock residents and beyond.

“Yellow Rock residents have felt neglected and shut off from the rest of the Lower Mountains community,” Mr Jones said.

“When the fires were blazing and we were without water and power trying to defend our lives and property, all we could hear off the media was Winmalee/Springwood fires. Yellow Rock is a community in its own right, yet the only time we could get info as to what was happening in Yellow Rock was when they showed a map, and we could work it out ourselves.

“We all chose to live out here knowing the risks of fire, many houses are set up for fire but these [sprinklers] could not be turned on, as the residents couldn’t get in to do so; we had no warning.”

Mr Jones said some residents had been unable to return to their homes for a week. Neighbours who remained did what they could, feeding the pets of those residents.

“Lauren thought we needed to have a Christmas party, and so Christmas in Yellow Rock began,” he said.

“It was slow at first, but with the help of local residents it grew into a small army and Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre has been incredible, for such a small under-funded centre to help the way they have for our community is nothing but amazing,” he said.

The event had “started for Yellow Rock” but the group “invited all fire-affected residents in Winmalee to join in”.

Santa arrived in a bright red Hot Rod on Sunday afternoon and several hundred guests enjoyed the Aussie Christmas sausage sizzle and Christmas cake, Mr Jones said.

Foodbank NSW CEO Gerry Andersen said it was part of their group’s charter and all the products had been “donated to us to give to the Mountain people”.

“Foodbank wants to help the community, that’s our charter, we’re the largest food relief group in Australia and helping the people in the Mountains with the bushfires is the perfect opportunity to do what our charter is,” Mr Andersen said.

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