Bendigo Foodshare feeds the hungry

ABOUT 90,000 kilograms of food is distributed from the Bendigo Foodshare warehouse every month.

It's quite huge and we can't meet the demand. We can never supply enough. - Ray Butler

Bendigo Foodshare operations manager Ray Butler said the food was distributed to 22 relief agencies, about 50 schools and serviced more than 30 meal programs.

"It's quite huge and we can't meet the demand," he said.

"We can never supply enough."

Foodbank Victoria officially handed over control of Bendigo Foodshare to the community board at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Foodbank Victoria programs coordinator Brien Baxter said Bendigo Foodshare was doing a terrific job.

"The thing that stands out today is how great it's grown," he said.

"It's grown because of the commitment of the community which the board has been drawn from and the volunteers who collect and distribute the food.

"They're now meeting a lot more of the need. 

"People who are experiencing hardship in Bendigo are doing it a bit easier now because of the Bendigo Foodshare.

"It's also a great tribute to local producers and manufacturers, people in business, who have come out and supported the Foodshare with really good quality food.

"The goal is high nutrition, good quality food and that gives people with food security issues access to good food."

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters was at the handover ceremony.

"In central Victoria we have higher than the state average of those who require regular food parcels," she said.

"It's alarming but when you start to look at how stretched household budgets are it's understandable.

"Rents are going up, rates are going up, petrol, electricity, water and all the basics are going up.

"Yet our income is not going up - our income is not matching the cost of the basics."

Ms Chesters described Bendigo Foodshare volunteers as community heroes.

"They do wonderful work," she said.

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