Shepparton Foodshare Needs Volunteers

Can You Help?

Article heading image for Shepparton Foodshare Needs Volunteers

Shepparton Foodshare are calling on community-minded locals who love making a difference to volunteer between 3 to 15 hours each week

The local service is expanding its food rescue operations, and its team of volunteers, to keep up with the demand for food relief.

For more information, CLICK HERE or email [email protected].

Shepparton Foodshare runs on volunteers, the caring and dedicated volunteer team provide around 75% of the hours required to operate the critical local service that provides food to registered agencies for the people they support.

Volunteers undertake various functions from providing expertise on the skills-based Board to sorting and warehousing food, driving the food rescue van, packing food boxes and providing assistance to the agencies when they visit the warehouse to collect food.

Shepparton Foodshare Operations Coordinator, Grace Grieve said “We are grateful for all offers of support but what really need at the moment is volunteers who can contribute on a weekly basis and those that are capable of lifting and manual handling, are confident in representing Foodshare out in the community in our food rescue van and if they are licenced to operate a forklift it would be valuable however is not essential.”

With food insecurity rising, an inconsistent/unpredictable food supply and 100 welfare agencies relying on the service, the Shepparton Foodshare Board is resolute in its goal to secure its future.

Grace said, “the challenges of the COVID pandemic have taught us we can no longer solely rely on our previous sources of fresh produce supplies, nor is rescuing food four days each week, as we have done in the past, enough to keep up with demand, therefore we are looking at expanding our rescue operations to up to six days each week”.

The service needs your assistance to continue. Food insecurity and disadvantage in Greater Shepparton continues to rise, according to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) 5.4% of people in our region have experienced food insecurity, which is higher than the state measure of 4.6%.

The need for Foodshare's service is evident, distribution in 2020, compared to that in 2019 was up by more than 60,000 kilograms or the equivalent of around 120,000 meals.

Imagine not having enough food to feed yourself or your family; it can happen to any one of us! Each year Shepparton Foodshare distributes the equivalent amount of food for around 600,000 meals to people who would otherwise go hungry, including children.

Shepparton Foodshare is the only local service that rescues and receives donations of food to redistribute to those in ‘necessitous circumstances’ in the Goulburn Valley. Last year a record 380,000 kilos of food was collected from Foodshare by emergency relief agencies, schools and churches and distributed via school breakfast programs, community meals programs, food hampers and to individuals.

Prospective volunteers must be prepared to undertake a police check and interview/induction process.

For more information, please call 0432 517 329 or email [email protected] .

Damien Willoughby

21 April 2021

Article by:

Damien Willoughby

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