Flood disaster funding helps distribute 100,000kgs of food across Central Victoria

Bendigo Foodshare has today released data outlining its role in flood recovery across Central Victoria over the past few months.

Thanks to the Victorian Government’s Flood Response Community Food Relief funding of $245,215 to Bendigo Foodshare, the charity was able to distribute an estimated 100,000 kgs of extra food into flood affected communities. This was achieved through the charity’s volunteer van drivers making an extra 93 deliveries since the disaster hit.

The charity, which supports food relief across North and Central Victoria, provided flood relief to many of the hardest hit communities including Echuca, Rochester, Kerang, Inglewood, Bridgewater, Boort, Kyabram, Cohuna and others.

Bendigo Foodshare was one of several food relief organisations across the state to receive the Victorian Government’s flood recovery funding in October, with the funding ending on 31 January 2023.

Bendigo Foodshare’s CEO Michelle Murphy said while the state government’s funding had ended, she wanted to stress that flood affected communities in the region would not be forgotten.

“We want our community to know we’re here for the long haul and that our focus remains on the long term recovery of our region,” Ms Murphy said.

“We are so proud of the efforts of our staff, volunteers, food partners, support agencies and governments in being able to deliver immediate food relief, but we know the effects of these floods will be long lasting for many.”

While Bendigo Foodshare was deeply grateful for flood relief funding from the state government, Ms Murphy called on governments to continue to provide funding to food relief charities to respond to these overwhelming challenges communities are facing.

“Times are particularly tough right now for people still recovering from the floods. The rising cost of living is putting major strains on so many families,” she said.

“Data has shown inflation is at a 32 year high, and just last year alone food prices rose around 10 per cent. This is now impacting working families whose budgets are being stretched like nothing we’ve seen in the last three decades.”

Ms Murphy said the charity gets food out through partnerships with 80 community organisations, the real heroes at the frontline distributing food to those who most need it. Many of these food partners are reporting increasing demand each month. “One partner told us they had seen the demand for their service triple since December,” Ms Murphy said.