Food relief providers receive federal funding boost

March 2, 2024 BY

Checking in: Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has announced additional funding to support local emergency and food relief agencies. Photo: SUPPLIED

LOCAL food and emergency relief providers will share in additional funding from the Federal Government to support demand for their services.

The $14.4 million dollar package is an add-on to the $144.8 million financial wellbeing and capability grant program launched by the government in January.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, announced last week that five local agencies will share $2.4 million of the funding which she said is critical to support the needs of the community.

“I’ve had a long working relationship with the Salvos on Gravel Hill and Uniting in Kangaroo Flat, and all of our emergency relief agencies and what they’re all telling me is demand for their services is increasing,” she said.

“They’ve got a lot of people coming for the first time in their lives for support and then coming back each fortnight for support.”

The increase in local demand is also being seen around the country as a result of rising costs across the board to housing, utilities, and groceries.

Agencies like the Salvation Army can provide people with groceries, or food and fuel vouchers that can help take the pressure off.

“That’s where these organisations do go above and beyond to help everybody,” Ms Chesters said.

“When we were at Salvation army what they said was this money has come just in time because they were literally down to their last voucher to hand out to somebody to help pay for their grocery bill.”

Local organisations to receive funds include Uniting Care Victoria, Community Information and Support Victoria, Loddon Mallee Housing Services, Catholic Care Victoria, and The Salvation Army Victoria.