In the days following the St Patrick’s Day fires, food support arrived literally by the tonne.
Warrnambool and District Food Share executive officer Dedy Friebe said car after car rolled up to the depot, each had boots overflowing with groceries. “We had car load after car load,” he said. “We had three days of people constantly turning up.
“We were receiving a tonne of food a day and over three-and-a-half tonne in donations. It was an enormous community response.”
Food Share provided emergency food relief in the fires’ immediate aftermath and then went on to supply food to community groups and councils to be delivered to those in need.
Food donations are also helping the many volunteers put food on the table for Blaze Aid workers.
Mr Friebe said Food Share was in it for “the long haul” when it came to fire recovery.
“It’s the after-care that’s really vital now,” he said.
“The initial community response was amazing and we were beneficiaries of that and able to distribute food to those in need. It’s now about where do we go from here. We’re here for the long haul.”
Anglicare has delivered 40 food parcels in the Corangamite Shire since the fires, both through Food Share support and their own donations.
South-West community development co-ordinator Louise Serra said Anglicare was working with the Cobden parish and the town's Rotary club to distribute them. "The response has been fantastic," Ms Serra said. "They're really well-appreciated and well-targeted. Because we're using the local contacts we can support people who need it.”
Visit the Warrnambool centre at 230 Koroit Street weekdays from 10am-noon or by appointment to collect food or to donate.