Call out: Help feed the Bellarine’s hungry
NON-PERISHABLE foods are the staples of all foodbanks, and with a shortage of pasta, pasta sauce, and canned goods, the Drysdale Family Support Foodbank is calling out for donations.
The foodbank service, run by the Drysdale Community Church in Curlewis, has been operational for 20 years and co-ordinator Jake Hogendoorn said they need donations more than ever.
“We assist families on the Bellarine Peninsula who are experiencing food insecurity. The past two weeks, things have become a lot harder for us to provide our service.
“It’s become a lot harder to get groceries, we have items donated and we get a few items through Foodbank Victoria but on top of that, we buy produce from the local supermarket.
“We have to queue and observe the limits. Our supplies from SecondBite (fresh fruit and vegetables) are down because the supermarkets have been selling out.
“It’s made it hard for us and we’ve had to change how we’re running our foodbank. We used to allow people to stay as long as they like and have a tea and coffee, and now they have to schedule an appointment and there’s no food or drinks.”
Mr Hogendoorn said on Tuesday last week 37 families came through the foodbank, which meant it had to make restrictions on what it could provide.
“We assess the size of the family and ages, and we allocate points. They shop using the points; we’ve had to draw back how many are allocated.
“All of our customers have been understanding that we had to take points off them to make our food supply last longer. Our numbers are up 10 per cent, which was up on the year before.”
With families across the region experiencing unemployment and loss of hours, Mr Hogendoorn said they’re predicting the demand will only increase.
“The coronavirus has affected the donations people were dropping off. We need people to continue to donate to us and help us continue providing food to people that need it.”
The foodbank has accepted monetary donations in the past but at this stage due to restrictions, packages, non-perishable foods and fresh fruit and vegetables are preferred.
“Cash means we’d still have to go and buy the groceries and adhere to the limits. We accept toiletries, shampoos, soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste, household goods and products people may not be able to afford as well as food items.
“We’re fortunate enough to also have access to sanitary products. At the moment, our stores are sitting at 80 per cent, but we’ve got to go out and try to source pasta, pasta sauce and tins that are no longer on the shelves.
“We provide for families on the Bellarine Peninsula, from Leopold across to Ocean Grove to the end of the Peninsula. If you or your family is struggling, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
“We service those with a healthcare card but if you haven’t qualified yet our philosophy is that when you come to us, we believe you. We try not to make it harder for people than it already is; Centrelink makes you jump through enough hoops, we treat everyone with respect and dignity.”
To contact Jake, phone 5253 2099, email [email protected] or drop off items between 9am and 4pm Monday to Thursday at 276-290 Jetty Road, Curlewis.