Lisa Chesters MP congratulates Bendigo Foodshare on their successful grant application of $20,000 grant from the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme.
Bendigo Foodshare used this grant to assist with the purchase of a refrigerated food van which will ensure the organisation can continue their vital food rescue and distribution services to schools, families and charities across the Bendigo electorate.
Bendigo Foodshare is one of 13 local organisations who have received a total of $150,000 through the program, to be put towards $536,250 worth of community-based projects.
Ms Chesters said the project was an extremely worthy recipient of a Bendigo Electorate Stronger Communities grant.
“This van will help provide the 500,000kgs of food relief that Foodshare distribute across Central Victoria each year. Without this van their distribution capacity would significantly drop leaving many schools, families and organisations at risk of not receiving anything at all.
Bendigo Foodshare currently provides for 40 school breakfast and lunch programs and 41 community agency meals and emergency relief programs all across Central Victoria.
“Unfortunately, the demand of their services continue to increase. This van will help Bendigo Foodshare meet this need and expand on their existing services as they anticipate the additional van will be able to provide food for a further 1,100 community members per week.
“Many people across Central Victoria are doing it tough – many people live on fixed incomes, wages aren’t keeping pace with the cost of living. Across Central Victoria, hidden poverty and food insecurity is growing.
“Food insecurity is not an individual problem it's a social problem. When people are forced to live meal to meal they cannot fully participate in society.
“We should all be very proud of Cathie Steele and her team at Foodshare for their efforts to support people in our community who are in need of emergency relief and assistance.
“It's vital that our Federal Government demonstrates strong commitment to supporting community infrastructure like Bendigo Foodshare,” said Ms Chesters.
The Stronger Communities Programme funds small capital projects in local communities which will deliver social benefits.