The Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $600,000 to secure a new home for Shepparton Foodshare, locking in the delivery of this important service into the future.
Shepparton Foodshare has been distributing fresh and nutritious food to those in need in the Goulburn Valley since 2012, feeding those who would otherwise go without.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced the vital role the service plays in the region, with Foodshare reporting a 70 per cent spike in demand, distributing more than 380 tonnes of food across the community.
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the Federal Government’s funding would help Foodshare to build a new home, ensuring the service is not lost and can continue to serve community members.
“As it has shown time and time again, Foodshare has played a pivotal role not only here in Shepparton but across the wider region for almost a decade,” Mr Drum said.
“I’m incredibly happy that the Nationals in Government have secured this important funding.
“When Greater Shepparton last year faced its most troublesome period during the COVID-19 pandemic, Foodshare was at the forefront of the community’s response, coming to the aid of many who had been forced into isolation.
“I have been in discussions with Foodshare for some time about its need for a new home, and today is the culmination of those discussions.
“I’m proud that the Federal Government is supporting such a worthwhile organisation and I congratulate Foodshare for all the work its volunteers do for the community.”
Foodshare rescues food and receives donations which are sorted through and given to welfare agencies, which then redistribute the food to those most in need across the community.
In addition to providing food for the less fortunate, the operation prevents around 300,000 kilograms of food from going into landfill every year.
Deputy Prime Minister for Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government was investing in the services regional Australians need.
“Services like Foodshare play a very important role in our communities, offering a helping hand to those who need it, when they need it,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“No one should go hungry, but sometimes that is beyond a person’s control. This service is all about ensuring families and individuals who have fallen on tough times can access the food they need to live.
“Ensuring Foodshare has a facility to operate out of into the future is the least we can do for a service that does so much for so many across this region.”
Shepparton Foodshare Deputy Chair Jim O’Connor welcomed the funding commitment.
“For the past nine years, Foodshare has operated from accommodation provided based on extreme generosity, however never with a formal tenure agreement,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Without appropriate and secure accommodation Foodshare simply would not be able to continue to provide food to the most vulnerable in our community across the Goulburn Valley.
“We are incredibly grateful for the Federal Government’s funding contribution, which will enable us to secure a permanent home that will support our business into the future.”