A crowdfunding campaign launched to help hospitality businesses during the coronavirus pandemic raised $57,310.
Bendigo Foodshare announced its Cafes for Covid fundraiser was able to help 25 local cafes, catering companies and local businesses provide 10,000 meals during the pandemic.
With the help of StreetSmart Australia, hospitality businesses, including large restaurants, social enterprises, pubs and food trucks were paid to cook meals, which were provided to people struggling for food, via Bendigo Foodshare's network of food relief agencies.
Launched in May, the fundraiser hoped to raise $10,000 for local businesses.
Bendigo Foodshare manager Bridget Bentley said the cooked meals reached people directly impacted by the pandemic.
"We do know the meals have been of value to many vulnerable people who had to self isolate during the pandemic, vulnerable women and children, multicultural communities and those accessing food relief for the first time," Ms Bentley said.
Nalderun and Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative volunteer John Nikkelson said the Cafes for Covid meals have been well received within his communities.
"The meals have opened new horizons and allowed us to experience food we normally would not have experienced," Mr Nikkelson said.
"We have loved them and have been looking up recipes of the meals and having a go at making the dishes ourselves."
Bendigo Foodshare continues to support the community through the festive period, with the Mobile Christmas Pantry available for those who need food support.
Donations continue to be accepted to Bendigo Foodshare's Food Drive, until Friday, December 18 at 2/43 Havilah Road, Long Gully or online at bendigofoodshare.org.au/donate
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