Community Food Pantry announced as recipient of 2020 Bendigo Bank Social Investment Grants Program

Eight not-for-profit capacity building projects have today been announced as the recipients of Bendigo Bank’s 2020 Social Investment Grants, comprising a total of $288,000. The program, offered since 2014, is dedicated to supporting not-for-profit organisations create impact in their local communities.

From restoring the UNESCO World Heritage Daintree Rainforest in Far North Queensland to coordinating emergency food relief in regional Victoria, this year’s grant recipients will be making a profound impact on their communities.

Branden Barber, CEO of Rainforest Rescue said the support of Bendigo Bank was a real comfort and powerful boost in their delivery of a tree nursery to support restoration efforts in the Daintree Rainforest.

“Australia’s largest and most biodiverse, and the world’s longest continuously surviving rainforest, is going to grow thanks to this powerful partnership,” Mr Barber said.

Meanwhile, Cathie Steele, Chair of the Bendigo Foodshare board said their grant had the potential to change the landscape for the provision of emergency food relief.

“The grant will enable Bendigo Foodshare to take our online Community Food Pantry service from a single provider system to a multi-agency food relief ordering service. Multiple agencies will be able to seamlessly coordinate to better meet the emergency food needs of their community through natural disasters and pandemics,” Ms Steele said.

Bruce Argyle, Senior Manager Not-for-Profit at Bendigo Bank and Social Investment Grants Committee Chair said the bank was again overwhelmed by the number of worthy applicants, making the choice of recipients extremely challenging.

“We recognise the not-for-profit sector’s immense need for more funding, especially given the challenges this year has presented from bushfires, droughts, floods and COVID-19,” Mr Argyle said.

“We know the importance not-for-profits play in creating strong communities, so this year we continued our focus on capacity building. By building the capacity of their organisations, these organisations will be in a greater position to support more members of our community, more effectively.”

“The eight successful projects were chosen because of their vision to create a sustainable and positive impact for the community. Each recipient addresses a specific need in their community and will be better supported in doing so thanks to these grants.” said Mr Argyle.

Bendigo Bank is providing more grant funding to not-for profits than ever before, supporting eight projects at a total of $288,000. Since 2014, the Social Investment Grants Program has now invested more than $1.45 million in the not-for-profit sector.

2020 Social Investment Grant Recipients

Recipients of a $50,000 grant:

Giant Steps, VIC
Project: establish an adult autism services program to provide young adults with autism access to vocational education, leisure and recreation.

Bendigo Foodshare, VIC
Project: develop a cloud-based software system to support food relief ordering from multiple agencies in a flexible, responsive manner during ‘normal’ and emergency situations.

Welfare Rights Centre, NSW
Project: work with Think Impact to develop a tailored impact measurement framework and educate staff on how to measure and effectively communicate impact.

Rainforest Rescue, QLD
Project: a new Nursery Project Manager to oversee the development of a new tree nursey that will grow ten times as many seedlings and produce one million rainforest trees for the Daintree within 5-10 years.

Recipients of a $25,000 grant

Australian Community Philanthropy, VIC
Project: a library and templates to assist directors, staff and volunteers with governance, risk and compliance, and quality assurance management, as well as a platform to provide professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities.

Milk Crate Theatre, NSW
Project: develop a social enterprise to deliver public art and community amenity in partnership with disadvantaged communities and property developers. The project will also include a rebrand and expects to be self-funding by the end of 2021.

Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre, NSW
Project: develop a client management system to improve client experience and support good governance, compliance and reporting leading to improved wait times and more sustainable pathways for service growth.

Recipients of a $13,000 grant

Heart & Soul Community Group, SA
Project: update to the online ordering system to respond to increased online demand unable to be served by current systems. The new customised platform will create efficiencies in ordering and delivering and ultimately achieve the vision of no food going to waste in South Australia.