Youth-driven donation for Soup Bus

December 17, 2021 BY

Community effort: The Buninyong Youth Advisory Council donated products from their recent food drive to the On-Track Foundation. Photo: SUPPLIED

A PASSIONATE group of young residents have given their effort to tackle food insecurity in the region.

Known as the Buninyong Youth Advisory Council, the group wrapped up their food drive late last week, donating items to the On-Track Foundation’s Soup Bus to then be redistributed to members of the public doing it tough this Christmas.

Youth councillor Eve Joyce said the group was passionate about backing the efforts of local food relief agencies.

“We chose the Soup Bus and the International Student Pantry at Federation University as recipients of our collected donations because they cater to our most vulnerable community members,” she said.

“Given the hardships many have faced due to COVID-19, we thought the food drive was an invaluable way to assist organisations in meeting the increased demand for emergency food relief.”

Director of the On-Track Foundation, Craig Schepis, thanked the group for their “amazing efforts” to support members of the community in need of assistance.

“We are truly grateful as there is no better gift than the gift of giving,” he said.

The youth council was established to help 10 young people between the ages of 16 and 22 from the Buninyong state electorate learn more about their area and give them an opportunity to play an active role in public life.

Ms Joyce said she didn’t know she could make a difference in the community before joining the group, but now feels she can lead and contribute to issues she cares about.

As part of the project, youth councillors met with local food security groups to learn about the environmental and economic impacts of food wastage, and the local work already underway to respond to the issue.

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle said she was “incredibly impressed by how the group identified a practical way that they could make a difference in the lives of others” and respond to what she described as a “wicked problem.”

A booklet aimed at young people was also created by the youth council to offer ways on how to reduce food wastage and cook up meals with pantry staples, and is available at community centres, secondary schools or via Ms Settle’s website.