BENDIGO families in need will be able to put food on the table thanks to a bigger and better community food hub.
Bendigo Foodshare will be able to build a new warehouse and distribution facility - doubling food storage capacity and providing a new, safe environment for workers and volunteers.
The purpose-built food hub will include a social supermarket, giving locals a place to access fresh, healthy produce.
"This funding will help build a new, larger home for Bendigo Foodshare to better service those experiencing food insecurity in central and north central Victoria," chairperson Cathie Steele said.
It will also serve as a distribution hub, and a space for the community to come together to address food insecurity and share ideas - boosting the work Bendigo Foodshare does with more than 90 local charities providing food relief across the region.
The state government's $1 million investment completes Bendigo Foodshare's goal of fundraising $2.8 million to build the new facility.
The investment is part of the government's work expanding the capacity of Victoria's community food relief organisations.
"We're ensuring Foodshare can do even more of its critical work helping struggling families across the Bendigo region to put food on the table," Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said.
Since February 2020, over $38 million has been provided to assist those affected by the pandemic with food relief.
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"Every member of our community deserves access to healthy food - and this is a great boost for the people working every day to ensure no-one goes hungry," Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said.
It builds on $3.5 million invested across five food hubs through the Building Regional Food Relief Networks project - supporting the Bendigo Foodshare, Albury-Wodonga Foodshare, Warrnambool and District Foodshare, Geelong Food Relief Centre and Mildura Foodshare to help for Victorians in need, wherever they live.
A further $10 million has been committed to establish two new regional food hubs in Ballarat and Morwell, to be operated by Foodbank Victoria. Planning for both facilities has commenced and both are scheduled to be operational at the end of 2022.
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