Ms Harrison said the pop-up store should be open by the end of this week, with shelving and stock arriving in the coming days.
“It’s so important that we get this supermarket up and running as soon as possible, just to get that confidence back in the community,” she said.
“If you lose your supermarket in these small towns, you worry about the risk of what it does to other shops in town when people have to travel to do their grocery shopping.
“There was also a lot of angst coming into our first harvest in three years – a lot of people were worried about how they’d feed their workers.
“Plus for towns like these, a supermarket is a meeting place. Everyone would go down the street on Saturday morning and it’d be a time to connect. During the drought, those businesses were imperative for people’s mental health.”
While the temporary supermarket is still being set-up, Mungindi residents have been able to access food and essential supplies thanks to deliveries from Moree and Goondiwindi businesses.
Ms Harrison said the inclusion of Moree in the border bubble is a win for the Mungindi community, but she believes it’s time to start reopening the border and “getting things going again”.
“It’s just been an absolute headache for our community,” she said.
While the Progress Association has been focused on getting the pop-up supermarket up and running, they’ve also been committed to finding work for the employees who lost their jobs as a result of the fire.
The two permanent employees from Spar Supermarket have now been employed by the Mungindi Progress Association to work in the pop-up store, while it’s hoped the two backpackers have been able to find work on a local property. One of the two employees from PJ’s Country Wares will also work in the pop-up supermarket. Red, the owner/operator of Red’s Quality Meats is also being looked after.
Ms Harrison said the loss of all three businesses has been a huge blow to the community.
“A butchers and supermarket are your hub,” she said.
“And PJ’s – we called it the DJ’s in the bush – you could get everything there. We were so lucky for so long to have such amazing shops.
“But we’re a bloody tough little community and we’ll get through it.”