Food For Families Story – Almost 50 tonnes of food for families
Wesley Mission Victoria’s annual Food for Families appeal has collected an unprecedented 49 tonnes of food for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
The appeal runs in the lead up to Christmas, inviting schools, businesses and community groups to collect food and household essentials for distribution through Wesley’s outreach centres.
Over 550 groups participated in 2015, more than double the previous year, with many individuals and families also hosting a collection box at home. Several Uniting Church congregations also participated, including Melbourne, Auburn, Glen Waverley, Bentleigh and the East Preston Ladies Guild.
Wesley’s Manager of Crisis and Homelessness Services, Janene Evens, says she is extremely grateful for the generosity of Melburnians.
“Our goal was to collect 30 tonnes and we’ve got much more than that which is fantastic. I think people really like the appeal because they can be sure that all of the donations will go to people in need.” Ms Evans said.
Food for Families received generous corporate support, including Orora who supplied all of the Food for Families boxes and 13CABS who provided vans to pick up the collection boxes across Melbourne. As the donations piled up, Fort Knox Ringwood opened its doors with free temporary storage.
“The response has been amazing. It’s clear that we don’t want to see others suffering and a lot of us are willing to go out of our way to help. That means a lot to people who are struggling,” Ms Evans said.
Wesley Mission Victoria will embark on the 25th annual Food for Families appeal in the lead-up to Christmas this year.
For more information visit their website www.wesley.org.au
Connections UnitingCare is a community organisation supporting more than 2,000 people every week. We offer a range of services across a continuum of care from early childhood through to counselling and in-home support. We work on family strengthening and early intervention services for people in need, giving them a better chance in life now and in the future.
We have a vision of children and young people living in safe and strong families within socially inclusive communities. We seek to create opportunities and build resilience to break the cycle of disadvantage and vulnerability through collaboration.
Share would like to introduce the revamped CommunityCARE food voucher program, now known as Share it Local. Important changes have been made to the program to ensure it supports congregation run emergency relief programs as effectively as possible.
What is Share it Local?
There is a high demand on some congregations in our Synod to support disadvantaged people in their local community, particularly in locations where there isn’t a UnitingCare agency present. The Share it Local program (formerly known as CommunityCARE) enables them to respond to this demand by having the donations they collect from their members for emergency relief matched dollar for dollar. By doing this Share doubles the value of food vouchers the congregations are able to distribute to people in need. The Share it Local program is an important way of resourcing the mission of the church and enables congregations to reach out to individuals and families with whom the church would normally have little contact.
How can you access vouchers through Share it Local?
Complete the attached order form and send it, along with the church contribution to Share. Make sure you answer the questions in the ‘Food voucher Program Description’ section as without them your order will not be filled. Please be aware that the number of orders filled is dependent on the funds available and a priority ranking system will be used. The rankings will be based on the way the vouchers are distributed with priority given to congregations who distribute them through their own emergency relief programs.
Why is there a priority ranking system?
There are limited opportunities for congregations to receive funding from Share therefore we need to ensure the needs of congregation run emergency relief programs are met first. Share supports the emergency relief programs run by UnitingCare agencies through our grants process. If you have been using the CommunityCARE program to provide your local agency with food vouchers please encourage them to increase the grant request they put to Share for emergency relief rather than using the Share it Local program.
If you have any questions please contact Angela Goodwin on 03 9251 5248 or [email protected]
UnitingCare lifeAssist has been assisting vulnerable and disadvantaged people, as well as their carers and families since 1987. lifeAssist can help you access a wide range of service options, including government funded, free or self-funded services, whether for yourself or for someone close.
We assist older people, people with disabilities, their carers and families to achieve goals and live happily and productively in the familiarity of their own homes and communities.
To find out more about UnitingCare lifeAssist, visit their website www.lifeassist.org.au or call 1300-ASSIST
South Melbourne Mission
St Kilda Mission
UnitingCare Creative Ministry Network
Wesley Mission Victoria