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The opal-mining town of Andamooka is 30 kilometres away from the nearest major supermarket and essential services in Roxby Downs near our Olympic Dam operations in South Australia.

For vulnerable community members, this always presented a challenge and when COVID-19 safety measures were introduced, accessing essential supplies and support became even harder.

The not-for-profit organisation, Andamooka Progress and Opal Miners Association (APOMA) identified this issue and with the support of BHP’s Vital Resources Fund can now provide a food delivery service for these residents.

“Many of our senior citizens are making use of the community food supply and delivery program, receiving weekly orders of fresh foods and essentials including pick-ups of prescriptions. This is not only taking away the fear of leaving the security of their homes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also keeping them in contact with their community,” said Tanya Simpson, APOMA Community Liaison Officer (whose role is also supported through BHP’s funding.)

“We are in this for the long haul as we enter into winter which will be when many of our seniors would struggle without assistance, so we are looking forward to delivering more food parcels and ready-made hot meals to keep them warm, happy and safe.”

The investment is part of BHP’s Vital Resources Fund, established to help support regional Australian communities facing the significant challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. BHP’s funding also supports the Andamooka community bus service and purchase of laptops to connect community members to online medical appointments, government services, education and other vital links.

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