Bendigo Foodshare’s annual fundraising appeal Bendigo Bank Million Meals in May officially came to a close in May but thanks to overwhelming support from our community, donations continued to flow in throughout June and early July bringing the official fundraising tally to more than $76,500.

The ambitious campaign included the launch of the inaugural Soupfest, which saw cafés, restaurants, schools and community groups host soup-themed fundraisers, while approximately 150 businesses across greater Bendigo and Castlemaine collected donations towards the appeal.

Bendigo Foodshare’s Chair Cathie Steele said the appeal had resonated strongly with local people, raising $10,000 more than the projected target.
“Winter is a tough time; we’re now feeding more than 12,000 local people each week via food distributions to local charities, community groups and schools.

“Our recipients aren’t so different from many of our donors. They’re just everyday people who’ve fallen on hard times; hard-working families struggling with unforeseen circumstances, farming communities hit hard by drought and students in part-time employment trying to make ends meet.”

The campaign attracted the support of a number of local businesses, community organisations and services clubs, including:

Sponsors: Bendigo Bank, Bart n Print, Be.Bendigo, Bendigo Advertiser, The Bendigo Cleaning Company, Bendigo Stadium, Bendigo Toyota, G.J. Gardener Homes, Gold FM Central Victoria, Mt Alexander Funerals, Viatek and the WIN TV Network.

Service clubs and community groups: Bendigo City Masonic Lodge, Y Service Club of Bendigo, Lions Club of Bendigo, Thriving Together, Bendigo Sustainability Group, Bendigo Sandhurst Rotary, Bendigo Y Services Club-Women, Inner Wheel Club of Bendigo, Lansell Y’s Menettes, Rotary Club of Eaglehawk and Y Service Club of Kangaroo Flat.

Soupfest Souper Sites: Bendigo Wholefoods, Saffs Cafe, Sky Dancers, Coffee Bean Cafe, Bendigo Pottery, Hoo-Gah, Bendigo Stadium, Marong Family Hotel, El Gordo, The Loaded Plate, The Anxious Goat, The Good Loaf, Café Roubaix, Debbie’s Deli, Percy and Percy, Love a Latte, The Old Green Bean, , Rocks on Rosalind, Taste of the Orient, Maiden Gully Café, Clogs, Bendigo Corner Store and Bendigo Senior Secondary College.

Major Donors: Baillieu Myer, Bendigo Community Health Services workplace giving, Calmo Farm, Domain Village residents, ESE Consulting, PayPal Giving Fund Australia, The Angel Fund, Young Lehmann & Co and Terraco.

“In particular, we were pleased to see such a large number of individuals, local businesses and service clubs support the campaign through sponsorship, donations and in-kind support, turning a successful campaign into something truly special,” concluded Ms. Steele.

Money raised during Bendigo Bank Million Meals in May will be put towards Bendigo Foodshare’s operating costs, allowing the organisation to provide enough food for more than a million meals for local people in need.

Donations to Bendigo Foodshare can be made year-round via the Bendigo Foodshare website. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.