Warrnambool and District Food Share is hungry for help.
The not-for-profit group’s annual appeal week begins on Monday and executive officer Dedy Friebe hopes the community will get on board to help keep up with growing demand.
Mr Friebe said after a few short years, Food Share was hitting its stride, growing to support people in need across the region.
“We’re really seen as a provider and an agency that people can call on when they need food support,” he said.
“Our regional focus is increasing, so we are now able to permeate the hinterland and that means that places like Portland, Camperdown, Simpson, Casterton, Hamilton, Terang are now places that we can service through the agencies that are using us.
“We have exactly 100 agencies registered now. Another feature of those 100 agencies is the 38 schools in this region that are using us.”
Increasing demand for the organisation is shown in the latest figures – in the year to date, the amount of food distributed is up more than six tonnes compared to the same time in 2016, with 80,864 kilograms of food delivered so far.
More than 1200 families have been fed with food hampers this year and the organisation has helped 6929 people in total, up by almost 800 people on the same time last year. The organisation’s volunteer workforce has contributed at least 2000 hours.
”These figures exclude what is being done with the schools,” Mr Friebe said.
Food Share helps support initiatives such as school breakfasts and well-being rooms and Mr Friebe said he was on the lookout for more support.
“School welfare is really big on our agenda too and we’re looking for sponsors for that. We’ve been able to put money in to buying food like fresh fruit for schools thanks to grants that we’ve put in for, but that money has run out so I’m now searching the community to see who might be able to support that.”
Mr Friebe said he hoped the August appeal would go beyond food and help with rising operational costs.
Cash donations can be made at South West Credit or online at mycause.com.au. Food can be dropped at bins in local supermarkets.