This week, Bendigo Foodshare has started a mobile food pantry to meet increased demand for emergency food relief over the summer holiday period.
Bendigo Foodshare Chair, Cathie Steele said the Central Victorian food relief agency was keen to help families struggling to put food on the table over Christmas and the New Year by giving out free groceries at five sites across the city.
“Food poverty is a significant issue in the greater Bendigo region with more than 25,000 residents living below or close to the poverty line,” said Ms. Steele.
“As many as one in nine local families have difficulty putting hearty nutritious meals on the table each week.
“The summer holidays, including Christmas and New Year, is a traditionally lean time for low-income families as charities and food relief services take a well-earned break and schools across the region close for upwards of six weeks.”
The mobile pantry which will set up shop at five locations across the city during December and January, operating the week before Christmas and the three weeks following New Year’s Day.
The mobile food pantry will visit the following locations during December and January:
16 December, 7 January, 13 January & 20 January, 1pm -2:30pm
Eaglehawk Community House, 19 Bright Street, Eaglehawk
17 December, 7 January, 14 January & 21 January, 1pm -2:30pm
Giving and Living Op Shop, 3/75 Beischer Street, East Bendigo
18 December, 8 January, 15 January & 22 January, 1pm -2:30pm
Uniting Care Church Hall, 25 Forest Street, Bendigo
19 December, 9 January, 16 January & 23 January, 1pm -2:30pm
The Salvation Army, 65 – 71 Mundy Street, Bendigo
20 December, 10 January, 17 January & 24 January, 1pm -2:30pm
Kangaroo Flat Uniting Church, 10 Camp Street, Kangaroo Flat
Local people are encouraged to visit the mobile pantry and stock up on fresh produce, bread and household groceries that have been generously donated by Bendigo Foodshare’s 12 supermarket partners.
People visiting the mobile food pantry are reminded to bring along their ID, Health Care Card and reusable shopping bags or boxes.
To staff the additional demands, Bendigo Foodshare has secured the support of Bendigo Lions Club, Eaglehawk Community House, Freemasons Club of Bendigo, Giving & Living Op-Shop, Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst, Rotary Club of Bendigo South, The Salvation Army, Uniting Care and the Y Service Club of Bendigo.
Please note: For safety reasons the mobile food pantry will not operate on days with a ‘Code Red’ fire danger rating.
Photographs, video and interviews are available on request. Media contact: Steph Flynn 0409 414 188 firstname.lastname@example.org.