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Community rallies to fight food poverty in Greater Bendigo

This May, People across the region are being urged to donate, host an event or buy a bowl of soup to support Bendigo Foodshare as part of its annual Bendigo Bank Million Meals in May campaign.

In 2019, Bendigo Bank Million Meals in May will incorporate the inaugural Soupfest – a grassroots solution to food poverty, empowering the community to help local people struggling to put meals on the table by hosting a soup themed fundraising event in May.

Bendigo Foodshare Chair, Cathie Steele, said occasional food poverty was an invisible epidemic, but it was one that could be eased with a whole of community approach.

“We’re seeing food distress affecting an increasing number of residents, including people who are unable to afford healthy food as a result of temporary financial stress or despite working, owning a business or operating a farm,” said Ms Steele.

“Through Bendigo Bank Million Meals in May and Soupfest the community can take direct action by gathering their friends for a fundraising event in the office, in the local community or at school, or by going out for a delicious bowl of soup at one of our Souper Sites.”

In 2019, Bendigo Foodshare hopes to recruit more than 30 hospitality businesses as Soupfest Souper Sites to host and raise more than $65,000 from community fundraising events and donations through during May. Money raised will go towards collecting and redistributing food that would otherwise go to waste.

Bendigo Bank recognises the power of community contribution and has come on board as Bendigo Bank Million Meals in May’s partner, volunteering its branches as collection points for community donations.

Marnie Baker, Managing Director of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank said the bank was proud to support such an important community initiative.

“A timely response and a focused community effort to support the needs of people experiencing food poverty is required to make a real difference, and these are the attributes that underpin our community partnership with Bendigo Foodshare,” said Ms Baker.

“I am humbled by the work that Foodshare does and am proud to support an organisation committed to improving the lives of those experiencing food poverty in our region.”

Bendigo Bank Million Meals in May and Soupfest will run from May 1 – 31.

To register a business as a Souper Site or host a Million Meals in May community fundraiser visit to download your free host kit.

Bendigo residents unable to host an event can still get involved by finding a Soupfest Souper site poster identifying participating venues; looking for public events in your area, donating directly to Bendigo Foodshare via or by making a donation at the nearest Bendigo Bank branch.

Bendigo Foodshare Bendigo Bank Million Meals In May 2019 launch