Food relief funds to provide immediate support

Monday, 20 April 2020

The City of Greater Geelong will provide $50,000 to the Geelong Food Relief Centre to begin immediately buying fresh food for distribution to people in need.

Councillors agreed to the funding allocation during Tuesday night’s meeting, as part of $1.5 million in business and community support measures aimed at helping the Greater Geelong community through the coronavirus pandemic.

Geelong Food Relief Centre will buy and store the food, which will then be distributed by welfare agencies throughout the region.

The funds aim to help local agencies meet the rising need for food relief in the region as the devastating financial impacts of the pandemic continue to take hold.

In making its $50,000 commitment on Tuesday night, the council also resolved to advocate to the state government for a $100,000 contribution towards food relief for the Greater Geelong community.

This short-term measure comes on the back of the council’s allocation of $1 million in the 2019-2020 budget to assist in the long-term sustainability of food relief services in the region.

The first step in that process has been the commissioning of an independent Food Assistance Report, which is due to come before the council in May.

It will examine how the City can support and strengthen the existing network of selfless volunteers distributing food through the various agencies in Greater Geelong.

It will also look at the feasibility of the council leasing a site for use as a food relief distribution centre and budgeting a yearly sum to help a third party operate the venue.

Recently the council made a decision to spend $10,000 to secure an option to lease a North Geelong site should the plan to set up the distribution centre gain approval.

A decision to take up this lease and fund the new centre from the start of the 2020-2021 financial year will be made once the recommendations of the Food Assistance Report have been considered.

See a full list of all community and business support measures announced by the council so far.

Anyone suffering hardship and wanting to seek relief from rates, fees and charges owing to the City of Greater Geelong can email [email protected] or call 03 5272 5272.

 

Mayor Stephanie Asher

With demand rising in Melbourne, fresh food is becoming more difficult for relief agencies here in Greater Geelong to source through donations. Added to this, many of the local agencies are facing challenges operating in the current environment because their wonderful volunteers are mostly in the vulnerable age category for COVID-19.

This $50,000 contribution from the council will help keep up with the demand, which tragically is likely to rise over the coming months as more people find themselves struggling to put food on the table through no fault of their own. We really hope the money will help local families get through this unbelievably tough time.

A big thanks to the many food relief and welfare agencies in our region who are doing their absolute best to help those in need in very difficult circumstances. Alongside this funding, councillors will also be looking at how we can support the agencies in getting the food to the people who need it.





Page last updated: Friday, 29 May 2020

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