With the press and social media attention on COVID-19, better known as Novel Coronavirus, and its potential spread in Central Victoria, we understand the community is worried, and access to food is a concern.

Victoria currently has a minimal number of reported cases of COVID-19, and Central Victoria has none. 

We urge people to respond calmly and reasonably to this situation as some businesses are starting to experience stock shortages of affordable long-life foods, such as rice and pasta, and we’re beginning to see the follow-on effects of panic buying.  

It’s crucial to remember, stockpiling food disproportionately affects low-income earners who can’t afford to buy in bulk and people with limited or irregular access to shops and supermarkets.

Presently, there is enough food to go around if we remain calm, be mindful of others in the community and carry on with our normal buying habits.

Bendigo Foodshare is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. We have enough stock on hand to service our regular partner agencies – and it is business as usual with normal purchasing procedures still in place at this time.

The circumstances are changing daily, but we are in regular contact with Foodbank Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services, which are coordinating the State Emergency Management Response. Visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus for more information.

We encourage the public to be considerate and respectful of the community, especially those experiencing hardship, and band together. Please check on sick or older friends and family, share surplus supplies with your neighbours and refrain from panic buying.

If you wish to help Bendigo Foodshare to support Central Victorians struggling with food insecurity now, or in anticipation of an increase in need due to COVID-19, please contact us about volunteering or donate online at www.bendigofoodshare.org.au.

We will keep you updated if the situation changes. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.