Program helps feed 130 a week

Colac and District Foodshare distributed almost 50,000 kilograms of food to help disadvantaged people. Pictured are Foodshare’s Heather McMaster, Toby Lloyd, Michael McCrickard, Aaron Lucas, Wikkitoria Newth and Chris Smith.

Colac and District Community Foodshare helped almost 9000 people struggling with food insecurity last financial year.

The group provided food to 4219 adults and 4572 children, as well as 250 hampers for community food programs.

Colac and District Foodshare is an emergency food relief distribution hub that collects rescued food from Foodbank and SecondBite to distribute to welfare organisations, schools and community meal programs.

The district’s foodshare distributed 48,315 kilograms of food to agencies across the Colac Otway Shire for individuals and families experiencing hardship.

Chair Chris Smith said Foodshare supplied 130 people a week with food from 50 hampers.

Mr Smith said the group could now buy discounted staple items from Foodbank to ensure that disadvantaged families did not go without.

“We are now spending about $400 on groceries a week sourced from Foodbank as well as getting free food; we can purchase staple diet items at very cheap rates,” he said.

“If people want to donate to Foodshare we’d welcome that, even $100 goes a long way.”

Mr Smith said it was “great” to have the support of South West Family Church, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Colac Area Health, Colac Otway Shire Council, the Rotary Club of Colac and GenU.

The latest Foodbank Hunger Report revealed almost one in five Australians had run out of food in the last year and were unable to buy more, while people in rural areas were 33 per cent more likely to go hungry.

Foodbank Victoria chief executive officer Dave McNamara said many charities were under strain from increased demand and lack of resources.

See Wednesday’s Colac Herald for more.

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