BOOSTING FOOD RELIEF FOR WODONGA AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES

17th December 2020

The Victorian Government is strengthening food relief services across Wodonga, ensuring healthy food reaches Victorians in need.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced local organisations Albury Wodonga Regional Food Share and Birralee Park Neighbourhood House will both receive grants of $75,000 as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to ensuring all Victorians have access to fresh, healthy food.

The $5 million Community Food Relief Fund is part of the recently announced $11.3 million investment to boost food relief activities for vulnerable Victorians.

The package builds on $7.4 million already announced earlier this year to expand food relief operations and deliver more free and nutritious meals, which is creating 119 new food relief jobs.

Albury Wodonga Regional Food Share are introducing the Community Pantry service which reflects the immediate needs of the community and is expected to meet the rise in demand for food relief services. This service is in addition to the general program for food distribution to a network of approximately 200 welfare agencies, schools and neighbourhood centres.

Birallee Park Neighbourhood House are planning to use the funding to create a refrigerated mobile food pantry that will distribute donated food from Wodonga’s Foodshare and Birallee Park Neighbourhood House directly to where it is needed, delivering fresh produce, groceries and nutrition education to people in rural areas under served by healthy food providers and food relief warehouses.

The local project receiving funding are two of 93 organisations across the state that are being supported thanks to the Community Food Relief Fund.

The 93 projects will enable food relief organisations to provide an additional 2,000,000 meals and 180,000 food hampers to Victorians in need.

In addition to the Community Food Relief Fund, the Victorian Government is also investing in the network of food distribution hubs in regional areas, with $3.5 million to strengthen the link between suppliers and those experiencing food insecurity.

A Food Relief Taskforce is also being established to bring together key industry leaders and representatives from all tiers of government to ensure food supply and distribution is coordinated and targeted to areas most in need.

For more information on the Community Food Relief Fund and to see all recipients, please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/community-inclusion-and-food-relief-coronavirus-covid-19

Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“These grants will make a real difference for local community members who are struggling to put food on the table.”

“We’re making sure our local food relief system is be able to support people when and where they need it.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan

“Every Victorian deserves access to fresh and healthy food – wihich is why we’re boosting resources for community-based food relief services.”

“We’re working with the food relief sector to enhance coordination and ensure that food relief is targeted to locations in need.”