Bendigo Marketplace, owned by ISPT, has today announced a landmark partnership with Bendigo Foodshare, a not-for-profit organisation working to reduce food poverty in Central Victoria through the rescue and redistribution of food that would have once ended up in landfill.
ISPT has committed to financial support of the program over the next three years, as well as additional joint initiatives run through Bendigo Marketplace that will support some of the volunteer-run organisation’s key community programs.
ISPT Property Investment Manager Alistair Capp, said that supporting and engaging the local community was an important focus for the organisation, particularly after the turmoil of the past two years.
“We know that, over the pandemic, demand for food relief has risen dramatically and in order to meet that increasing demand, Bendigo Foodshare has had to increase the amount of food sourced and distributed by 20% to 893,000 kilograms and valued at $6.7 million, which is an amazing feat.
“We also know that Bendigo Foodshare needs the ongoing support of organisations like Bendigo Marketplace in order to build capacity, increase food security and continue to expand food relief solutions through the development of growing, cooking and sharing skills. We look forward to working with Bendigo Foodshare and its 200 passionate volunteers in driving some of these outcomes.
“Throughout the pandemic, Bendigo Foodshare has demonstrated the power, resilience and creativity of a united community to provide an essential services, and this is something Bendigo Marketplace and ISPT are incredibly proud to support.” Capp said.
Bendigo Foodshare CEO Michelle Murphy says “The fact that people in our community don’t have enough food to put on their plates should be everybody’s concern. The good news is that we can all play a part in doing something about it. Bendigo Foodshare is powered by our community and provides everyone with the opportunity to make a positive impact through volunteering and making donations. This is something that the Marketplace recognises and we are so thankful for their vital contribution towards ensuring that our essential service continues to reduce food poverty and increase food security in our region.”
To-date Bendigo Marketplace has been supporting Bendigo Foodshare through two key initiatives in the centre including daily food rescues from Coles and Woolworths, as well as two major community food drives per year where a utility vehicle is placed on site and shoppers are encouraged to fill it. Monetary donation boxes will also be placed in some of the retail businesses within the centre over the coming weeks.