Uniting Bendigo has made some changes to its Forest Street emergency relief program, but the service will continue to operate in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters donated bags of food and essential supplies to volunteers, who are now tasked with creating packages for the most vulnerable in the community.
"Emergency relief centres are still open and able to open," Ms Chesters said.
"People are asked to call ahead and book a time to contact the team and collect any goods they require."
Heidi has volunteered at Uniting for four years and is passionate about social justice and has found common household goods difficult to source.
"It's been hard to get toilet paper, rice, pasta and a lot of the dried goods that have shelf limits at supermarkets," she said.
"We do have limited supplies and on Monday, we were out of everything."
Uniting Bendigo put together 25 to 40 packages per day, with Thursday and Friday its busiest days.
Anyone who is struggling financially and unable to purchase food is eligible for assistance.
The amount of face-to-face contact between volunteers and the community has been limited, for the safety of all involved.
"At present, we are working with a locked door to keep the clients safe by limiting contact between them and volunteers," Heidi said.
Ms Chesters said the federal government needs to do more to make personal protective equipment available to people working in a variety of industries.
"I am calling on the government to offer PPE to people working on the front line, such as our cleaners and emergency relief workers," Ms Chesters said.
"They need gloves, hand sanitiser and soap to handle food and surfaces.
"They'd go to the supermarket ordinarily, but there is no stock.
"If you have extra at home, please drop it off here because Uniting don't qualify for any support through the primary health network or federal government."
To request a food parcel, phone Uniting Bendigo on 5443 4972.
Uniting Bendigo is located at 25 Forest Street, Bendigo.
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