As Central Victorian communities start enacting containment measures to combat coronavirus, Bendigo Foodshare has been identified as an essential service and will continue its work to support people needing emergency food relief.

To support this vital effort, Bendigo Foodshare and City of Greater Bendigo have joined forces to call for volunteers to help get food relief out to vulnerable members of the community.

The emergency food relief provider is continuing to supply with staple pantry items and fresh produce to 90 charities, community organisation and schools, which are considered essential services in relation to food relief, to distribute to their communities during this time.

The service is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and has made changes to its practices and procedures in line with best practice and advice from the government and relevant authorities.

Bendigo Foodshare Manager Bridget Bentley said volunteers were needed to support the service during the pandemic.

“We have seen an increase in the need for food and essential items from people who have been unable to purchase items from the supermarkets or shops for themselves or their family.

“As this pandemic continues and containment measures are put into place, we expect the need for our volunteer-run service to grow even further. At the same time, we know over the coming weeks and months, many people who regularly volunteer may not be able to – especially if they’re being advised to stay at home.

“We’re asking healthy community members to consider helping the less fortunate during this unprecedented time by volunteering their time or services with our organisation.

“Volunteering doesn’t need to be arduous, it can be a few hours here and there or something larger, depending on the person’s availability, health and fitness and skills.”

If you are unsure how you can help, please consider one of the following roles or contact Bendigo Foodshare to offer other services:

  • Food rescuer
  • Food rescue driver
  • Warehouse assistant
  • Warehouse sorting of fresh produce
  • Administration
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing and communications
  • Customer service
  • Project management
  • Picking fruit and vegetables from donor farms
  • Collecting food from local food drive groups
  • Delivering meals
  • Cooking meals for those unable to leave their homes
  • Neighbourhood co-ordinator

To sign-up as volunteer email volunteer@bendigofoodshare.org.au and you will be sent a registration form to complete and return to Bendigo Foodshare. Volunteers will then be contacted by a volunteer coordinator. Please be patient as this is a new service operating in unprecedented times.