Friday, 13 August 2021


The Victorian Government is ensuring Victorians in need can access fresh, healthy food with a further boost to local food relief funding.

While visiting Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare in West Wodonga today, Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the not-for-profit organisation has received more than $1 million to expand their capacity to provide essential food and groceries for individuals and families doing it tough in the region.

A $265,000 grant has enabled the organisation to purchase and transport additional fresh, shelf-stable and frozen products to charity partners helping people experiencing financial hardship in Wodonga, Indigo Shire, Wangaratta, Alpine Shire, Towong Shire and Benalla.

The funding also allows FoodShare to collaborate with more than a dozen cafes, hospitality businesses and cooking programs across the region to purchase pre-prepared and culturally appropriate meals for people experiencing financial hardship – supporting local businesses and workers in the process.

The grant is part of a $4.5 million package announced in June to boost the capacity of community food relief organisations and ensure no-one is left behind during the pandemic. Since February 2020, $37 million has been provided to deliver food relief to Victorians affected by the global pandemic.

In September 2020, Albury-Wodonga Regional Foodshare was selected as one of five designated regional food relief hubs funded by the Government. Through this program, FoodShare is receiving $710,000 over two years to expand and improve their food relief services and modernise operations.

In January 2021, FoodShare was allocated $75,000 from the Government’s Community Food Relief Fund to to develop a community pantry service to directly support those seeking emergency relief with fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy items, fresh and frozen protein, as well as non-perishable food and some household items.

FoodShare operates a first-class warehouse in Wodonga that receives, sorts, stores and distributes rescued food to communities in the region, with the help of a growing team of volunteers. Each week, they provide over 22,000 kilograms of food, including 80 family hampers, to locals who would otherwise go hungry.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

 “Every Victorian should have access to healthy food and essential items, which is why we are expanding our support for food relief services across the state – including right here in Wodonga.”

“We’re helping Victorians who are doing it tough during the pandemic to put food on the table.”

Quotes attributable to Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare General Manager Peter Matthews

“The support from the Victorian Government will help us provide nutritious food for many locals experiencing financial hardship following the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.”