Shepparton Foodshare will next week deliver food emergency boxes to frontline relief agencies which are facing huge demands for help during the coronavirus crisis.
Shepparton Foodshare board chairman Rod Schubert said some agencies were receiving up to 50 calls a day for help.
Mr Schubert said the Shepparton Foodshare site in Mooroopna would remain open to ensure the most vulnerable community members could access food and personal hygiene products, but restrictions would be placed on the number of people entering the Foodshare warehouse in Young St.
“To do this we have had to adapt our operations. The Foodshare team of volunteers will be putting together ‘food boxes’ and delivering them as of next week,” Mr Schubert said.
He said registered agencies would still be able collect food from Foodshare between the usual hours of 9.30 am and 11.30 am, from Tuesday to Thursday.
“We are hearing so many more people in our community are in desperate need for food at this time of crisis, but agencies currently don’t have the capacity to collect and distribute it. To ensure these people most in need receive food, the board made the decision to adapt our operations to cater for this crisis situation that is changing daily,” Mr Schubert said.
He appealed for people to continue donating to Foodshare during the crisis.
“Shepparton Foodshare really needs these food and personal hygiene product donations to continue if you are able to assist. What they most need currently is packet meals, pasta sauce, rice, cereal, spreads, eggs and soap,” Mr Schubert said.
Drop-off points are:
●Southern Cross Austereo, 625 Wyndham St, Shepparton: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm;
●Bicaro's Ristorante, 30 North St, Shepparton: Tuesday to Saturday, 5 pm to 8 pm (or call and they will collect on Foodshare’s behalf);
●Shepparton Foodshare, 30 Young St, Mooroopna: Monday to Thursday, 8 am to noon.
Mr Schubert said people could also donate money to Foodshare via the "donate" button on its website: www.sheppartonfoodshare.org.au
He said the organisation was grateful for a spike in financial donations received in the past couple of weeks.
Mr Schubert said the organisation had been forced to postpone its annual major fundraiser and donations were now needed more than ever.
“We are so grateful for the way our community bands together in times of crisis. Foodshare is the only local food rescue agency and it is so critical that we can continue to operate now and into the future. We are forever in awe of our generous community and cannot do what we do without community support,” Mr Schubert said.