The Ballarat Foundation Partnership with Foodbank Victoria
Food distribution hub to tackle food insecurity in Ballarat and the Grampians
The fight to rid Ballarat of food insecurity will be significantly boosted for the next decade thanks to a major partnership announced between The Ballarat Foundation and Foodbank Victoria.
The partnership will see a warehouse built to run a food distribution hub in Ballarat and seed funding to help Foodbank establish itself within the community.
The hub would provide local organisations with significantly increased capacity to provide food to needy residents in Ballarat and the Grampians region.
A recent study by Monash University analysing the impact of food insecurity in Ballarat estimated 12 per cent of Ballarat’s 103,000 residents accessed emergency food relief services at least once in the previous year.
But it is not enough to meet the city’s needs, with 78 per cent of survey respondents experiencing food insecurity with moderate to severe hunger and 39 per cent of those going a day or more without food.
Foodbank Victoria sources and distributes food to assist more than 100,000 Victorians a month, more than a quarter of whom are children.
The not-for-profit organisation collects surplus food from across the state and distributes it to a network of community partners to feed those in need.
In the 2016 – 17 financial year, it distributed 1.7 million kilograms of food to major regional areas. However, less than 100,000 kilograms of this went into the Ballarat and Grampians region, highlighting the need for a local distribution hub.
The Ballarat Foundation Chief Executive Officer Matt Jenkins said in all of the studies completed, the continual recommendation was to create a food hub in Ballarat to increase the volumes of food available to the region.
“In partnering with Foodbank, we bring to the city an organisation with significant experience in food insecurity, logistics and agency partnerships,” he said.
“They have a proven record of making a positive impact and The Ballarat Foundation is extremely proud to partner with them.”
Foodbank Victoria Chief Executive Officer Dave McNamara said the hub would provide a critical missing link in Victoria’s regional food relief efforts.
“People have been going hungry in this region for too long due to challenges and limitations around the transportation, storage, handling and distribution of large quantities of food,” he said.
“We’re extremely grateful that The Ballarat Foundation is passionate about addressing food insecurity and providing the infrastructure required to meet the growing needs of its community.”
The Ballarat Foundation is seeking $3.5 million in donations and government support to bring the project to fruition and to create a fund to assist further food security initiatives into the future.
The Ballarat Foundation uses funds from donations to support community groups and projects which make a positive and lasting difference to the community. Those wishing to donate to the cause can contact the Ballarat Foundation on 03 5331 5555 or visit www.feedballarat.org.au