It’s hard to imagine a Christmas Day without plum pudding, chocolate and other indulgent festive fare.
Yet sadly this is the reality for some south-west families who are struggling to put food on the table, let alone to be able to afford to buy the luxury items.
Warrnambool and District Food Share executive officer Dedy Friebe wants to bring happiness to those families’ Christmas tables and is appealing to the public for help.
He is calling for donations of plum puddings, fruit mince pies, chocolates, shortbread and biscuits and bon bons to give to needy families.
Families who receive a food hamper, which is made up of groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables and frozen and dairy items, will also be given a festive gift bag filled with goodies the week before Christmas.
He said 200 to 300 kilograms of Christmas food items were needed. “I know 150 bags is a big ask but I think the people of Warrnambool can do it,” Mr Friebe said. “We did 100 bags last year but because our demand is so much bigger this year we’re hoping we’ll get 150 bags.
“For the families we are looking after, these are the things they can’t afford to buy. It’s treat stuff.
“It’s about happiness at the Christmas table and it’s made possible by what’s become our third major food source (after Foodbank and supermarket donations) which is the community.”
He said the positive feedback from grateful families who received Christmas foods last year was incredible.
“Our numbers are just through the roof,” he said. “At the end of November we did almost 5000 hampers, we were up 250 on the same time last year. We’ve helped 11,800 people; 2058 families – half of which are children, it’s amazing.”
He said they had distributed 153 tonnes of food so far this year, 106 of which was donated from supermarkets and the community. “We’re dealing with a massive groundswell of support from the community who responds to look after our community and that just blows me away.”
He said they were overwhelmed with the response to a recent callout for breakfast supplies with the community rallying to give 2000 kilograms of food.
Christmas items can be dropped to 24A Harrington Road, Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm.
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