Bendigo Foodshare is in ‘critical need’ for a new home and is appealing to the community for help so more than 12,000 people across central Victoria can supported with food relief each week.
Named “Mission Possible”, the campaign seeks to raise $1.8M to fit out a larger warehouse and create a community food hub at the organisation’s new headquarters at 123 Garsed Street, Bendigo.
Bendigo Foodshare Manager Bridget Bentley said the campaign had attracted $1.4 million so far, but it still needed an additional $400,000 to complete the community food hub. The hub will include social supermarket, pop up café, a cooking skills training area, and a food garden.
Bendigo Foodshare launched the campaign on Wednesday the 21st April where there was an exciting announcement made by a local donor; the Hazeldenes Family Trust. John Hazeldene and Vicki Gaudion attended the launch to make the surprise announcement that they would be donating an incredible $500,000 towards the campaign.
John Hazeldene said, “Hazeldenes will always support Foodshare because it’s the right thing to do for the community. We’re shocked and concerned by the stat that one in every five Aussie kids is going to school hungry every day.”
Hazeldenes Chicken Farms have been a long-term food donor of Bendigo Foodshare, ramping up donations of frozen chicken during COVID to support the increased demand for food relief. Established in 1938 the company has grown from a small backyard hobby farm in Kangaroo Flat to a thriving business employing more than 950 staff and exporting products across Australia and into Asia, the family understands what it is to struggle and wants to share its success by doing what it can to reduce food poverty. This substantial donation to now support Bendigo Foodshare’s mission for a new home and community food hub takes this long-term support to the next level.
Bendigo Foodshare is extremely excited, as it means Bendigo Foodshare can now fit out their new home, which will double their capacity to provide more food relief support across Central Victoria. The donation also brings Bendigo Foodshare a step closer to realising its vision for a community food hub, which will build and strengthen food skills in growing, cooking and sharing food.
Bendigo Foodshare Chair, Cathie Steele highlighted the importance of this generous donation from the Hazeldene Family Trust, “Bendigo Foodshare’s vision is to reduce food poverty. However, we realise that food rescue and warehousing is only part of the solution to building a food secure community. This is why we partner with local groups and organisations to deliver programs that reduce barriers to accessing help, and build skills in growing, cooking and sharing food,” said Ms Steele.
“Our new home will be a community food hub. It will be an inclusive and inspiring place where people can develop growing, cooking and sharing skills and can access fresh, healthy food cheaply and in a dignified way,” she said
To get involved with the Bendigo Foodshare ‘Mission Possible’ campaign or donate go to: bendigofoodshare.org.au.