DRYSDALE Family Support Foodbank has launched a Winter Appeal to help keep up with increased demand as locals face expensive heating bills.
Co-ordinator Jake Hogendoorn said the Foodbank was regularly under pressure to survive on its budget, but during winter it became even more of a struggle as clients battled to keep up with their regular groceries.
“Our budget takes into account donations, from community groups, churches, schools, businesses, individuals and grants from Give Where You Live, but at the moment we are about $4,000 down on the same time last year,” Mr Hogendoorn said.
“We have recently had our own volunteers topping up our food resources, which is great, but not something we expect them to do all the time.
“We are really in need of groceries, produce and money donations.”
Mr Hogendoorn said a few years ago the Foodbank was helping people right across Geelong, but in 2016 he put a boundary at Boundary Road in Newcomb, to help make the demand more manageable.
“This originally dropped our demand by about 25 per cent,” he said.
“But since then it has increased just on the Bellarine by about 25 to 30 per cent.
“Clients are finding it tougher and tougher.”
Mr Hogendoorn said the Winter Appeal would focus on the month of June, and a flyer highlighting the work of the Foodbank, along with how people could help would be dropped in letterboxes across the Bellarine during the second half of the month.
Mr Hogendoorn said each Tuesday, families attended the foodbank to receive a parcel that equated to five days’ worth of food, which included frozen meat, bread, eggs, cheese, fresh vegetables and fruit, plus packaged and refrigerated goods.
He said emergency parcels were also available any day of the week.
Mr Hogendoorn put the increase down to relationship breakdowns and domestic violence, and said many elderly clients were finding it hard for their pensions to make ends meet.
If you can donate food or finance, phone Jake Hogendoorn on 0402 410 232 or email jakeh@ dcchurch.org.au.
Or, donate directly to Bendigo Bank, BSB 633 000, account number 118464429. Gifts over $2 are tax deductible.