THOUSANDS of kilograms of food are going to landfill instead of needy Bendigo residents each month due to transport problems.
Bendigo Foodshare takes donations from businesses and distributes them to other agencies.
The charity has donated 811,000 kilograms of food this financial year, which equates to 1.3 million meals.
About 14,000 people receive support from Foodshare each month.
But donor manager Fay Barrett said donations regularly went to waste as trucks were often unavailable to transport the food.
“We have a need for transport across the board,” she said.
“There are about 10 to 12 pallets of food each month that I can’t pick up.
“They go to landfill and it breaks my heart when I think of little kids starving and going to school with no breakfast.
“It kills me.”
Ms Barrett said she was hoping for support from trucking companies to undertake occasional deliveries.
“It might only be one or two a month,” she said.
“It would just be if I’ve got some stock that needs to be picked up.
“They might, say, service the Shepparton and Echuca area and be able to bring back a pallet on their way back.
“There could be someone who comes back from Melbourne with a partial load.”
In the last 12 months, the need for meals has increased significantly and Bendigo Foodshare has tripled its food distribution over the last financial year.
“There are a lot of homeless people and school kids who are going to school without food,” Ms Barrett said.
“People are losing their jobs.
“I’m setting things up now where we get baby nappies and food to help young people through TAFE.
“I think kids should be encouraged to be educated and if I can support them with food, that makes me feel really good.”
Ms Barrett said she was seeking support from about 10 transport companies to deliver the pallets.
To help, call Ms Barrett on 0419 180 749 or email firstname.lastname@example.org