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A new food relief service is planned for Bendigo

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We love a good opening here at One Hour Out, but this one is pretty special. The state government has just announced a $400,000 grant for a brand new food support hub to open in Bendigo.

Bendigo Foodshare, a charitable organisation which collects food that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it across Central Victoria, is moving into part of the former Ice Works on Garsed Street in the Bendigo CBD, breathing new life into the vacant industrial building.

The new home for Bendigo Foodshare comes after almost five years of searching and planning, in which time demand for food relief has been on the rise – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year saw the organisation’s activities overflow from their Long Gully premises into the car park, and local small businesses have been donating storage space to help operations continue. It brings home to roost that in times of need, communities band together to get the job done.

Despite the need for food services rising 40 percent since the start of the pandemic, chair of Bendigo Foodshare Cathie Steele says there is a silver lining; their work has been put firmly on the government’s radar. 

“We are moving very fast, and the government wants it to move very fast,” Ms Steele said.

The site is set to be redeveloped pro-bono by local business Y2 Architecture, and will include space for food storage – from dry to frozen – as well as meeting spaces, amenities and offices. The public won’t be directly served food from the premise (that’s not Bendigo Foodshare’s practice), but it will be an integral HQ to their food relief service to various communities. 

If you want to find out more, and how you can get involved or donate to Bendigo Foodshare, head to their website. 

WHAT: Bendigo Foodshare
WHERE: Ice Works Building, Garsed Street, Bendigo
WHEN: July 2021
MORE INFO: Bendigo Foodshare

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