As Warrnambool and District Food Share launches its biggest annual appeal, it is calling on both sides of politics to help secure its future.
Food Share executive officer Dedy Friebe said with an election looming the time was right to push the case for funding.
“We think it should be a bipartisan response because it’s not about the political game here, it’s about the need in the community,” he said.
“Our biggest dilemma is always going to be recurrent funding, we’re never going to run out of food, the community will see to that. But when you’ve got a $5000 insurance bill or a $10,000 power bill, that money is really hard to get, so we rely on the philanthropic foundations.”
In an announcement late last month, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell committed $610,000, if they gained office, for a new Food Share base.
South West Coast Labor candidate and Food Share board member Kylie Gaston said she was a strong supporter of the organisation.
“I’ve advocated our business case (to government),” she said.
“My support for Food Share is unequivocal and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure Food Share goes from strength to strength.”
Food Share is meeting a growing need across the south-west, with the organisation distributing about half a tonne of food donations a day.
Monday marks the first day of the organisation’s annual appeal week and Mr Friebe said this year the number of people the organisation was feeding, about 7000, was the biggest yet.
“At the end of July we’ve done roughly 3000 hampers, that’s 300 up on the same time last year,” he said.
“We’re feeding 1000 more people (compared to last year) and... we’re feeding more individual people, people who are homeless, people who are living on their own, people who are in crisis without their families are getting more and more support,” Mr Friebe said.
Donations to Food Share can be made online at mycause.com.au, in person at South West Credit Union or Coast FM/3YB, the Harrington Road warehouse or at donation jars across the south-west. Food donations can be made at Food Share bins in supermarkets or at the warehouse.