Helping hands around Gawler #2 Free Food Thursday


I definitely like free things, so, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going around investigating the free stuff around Gawler. These will be things that you don’t need to sign up for, just visit anonymously.

Being typically me, my focus is on free food and information (unless someone gives me a free ebike that is… We’ve all got our price!).

These posts will be collated and listed on our page ‘Helping hands around Gawler‘.

Here’s this week’s… Free Food Thursday at Encounter Church

It was a blowing a gale and a half on Thursday when I went to check out ‘Free Food Thursday’ at Encounter Church in Gawler.

A friend introduced me to it last week and I decided to go back this week to meet the folks who run the show and get a little more information to share.

I didn’t take any pics inside. Even though staff and visitors were all very friendly, privacy can be a big thing to folks doing it tough, so I decided to hold off.

The weekly event starts at 3pm on the dot. There’s coffee and tea and similar to warm you up in this weather.

One lines up, then moves along to tables manned by cheery volunteers. These tables have lots of goodies on them… Donuts, cakes, soft drinks… All kinds of stuff!

Then (and far more importantly) are long trestle tables overflowing with breads, vegetables and fruits. Many of the veggies are are bagged into soup and stock mixes of parsnips, Beetroots, turnips, swede, carrots etc, ready for peeling and cooking.

The experienced visitors know to make their way to the sweets first but for me, the veggies are the priority. We try to grow as much of our food as possible at Ligaya Garden but we can’t grow it all, especially when we share what we grow. There’s always the scope to swap and trade.


On that note, a couple of days ago, someone anonymously dropped off a whole bucket of young garlic plants. Thanks to whoever that was… We’ve planted some and shared others around.

These random gifts really inspire us – they help us to know that what we are doing is appreciated. Thank you!


That’s where these awesome, food related events and services come into our lives. Community sharing is incredibly important, and developing it will help us all through the grey times that seem to be ahead.

Last week, I reckon there were about 50 people at a guess. This week, about 30. Folks I chatted to seemed to come from all around.

The volunteers are bright, talkative and encouraging. There was no talk of religion or faith, no sign up sheets or anything like that, just plain old fashioned generosity. People helping people – what can be better.

I didn’t ask where the food comes from either. To me, that’s irrelevant, it’s the giving that’s beautiful.

Encounters sign

When and how to get there…

Free Food Thursday is held at 3pm on a Thursday at Encounter Church on Northside Court at Evanston Gardens. Encounter Church used to be called Salt Church.

To get there, you go along Dawson Rd, past the Tambelin railway station and keep going to the end. Then you turn left onto Northside and follow that to the car park at its end. Then you’re there.

*Just a follow up note. Encounter Church also run the coffee shop at the Gawler railway station. We can support them sometimes by dropping in and having a coffee or a snack.

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