Kyabram Free Press
By Liz Mellino
24 October 2018
The Victorian Coalition has pledged $500,000 for a permanent home for Shepparton Foodshare if elected next month.
The funds would support buying or building a new home for the not-for-profit organisation, presently in the old SPC Ardmona site in Mooroopna.
Shepparton Foodshare operations manager Bec Nicoll said a purpose-built facility would ensure the sustainability of operations.
''We hope that in the long term the demand for our service doesn't keep growing, but we know that individuals and families in the Goulburn Valley have a huge need for food relief,'' she said.
''With the cost of living pressures, mortgages and a high level of homelessness we all know the issues affecting people and we accept our service will always be needed.''
Since opening in 2012, Shepparton Foodshare has provided more than four million meals to registered agencies which deliver food to people in need in the Goulburn Valley.
Ms Nicoll said the work was completed by more than 20 volunteers, contributing more than 100 hours a week.
''We save 300000 tons of food going into landfill and provide up to 500000 meals a month ... we note the demand is there,'' she said.
Having recently moved into a second temporary premises since opening, a lack of a permanent location has been identified as a risk to the organisation's future.
Shadow housing spokesperson Georgie Crozier yesterday pledged a Liberal-National government would work closely with Shepparton Foodshare to understand the needs.
''With homelessness in Shepparton increasing by 14 per cent and doubling of the public housing wait list, there are more and more vulnerable people around this area that will be reliant on Shepparton Foodshare,'' she said.
''If we've got the privilege of forming government we will work immediately with Foodshare to ensure they have got the right area and the right facility where they can conduct this vital work.''
Pledge: Shepparton Foodshare board chair Bill O'Kane, operations manager Bec Nicoll, Liberal candidate for Shepparton Cheryl Hammer, Shadow housing spokesperson Georgie Crozier and Nationals candidate for Shepparton Peter Schwarz. Picture: Liz Mellino
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