Latrobe Valley residents doing it tough will receive much-needed food relief from today, thanks to a new partnership between food rescue organisation FareShare and GDF SUEZ Australian Energy.
FareShare will deliver about 2000 free, nutritious meals each month to food relief agencies in Traralgon, Moe, Morwell and Mirboo North.
FareShare chief executive Marcus Godinho said the partnership would address a rapidly-growing demand for nutritious and affordable food relief in the region “using surplus and donated food that would otherwise be destined for landfill”.
“With the help of 6000 volunteers per annum, we can prepare delicious meals like Moroccan braised lamb with couscous, at a cost of just 50 cents each.
“When you consider one Moe charity spent over $35,000 on food vouchers in just three months, you can see how high their need is and how much better off charities will be through receiving our free meals.”
The charities which will distribute the FareShare meals to those in need are Enjoy Church, Morwell; Gippsland Christian Community Church, Moe; the Salvation Army, Morwell; St Vincent de Paul, Traralgon; and Mirboo North Helping Hand.
Enjoy Church Gippsland Pastor Daniel Bates said over the past 18 months there had been a massive increase in the number of people going to the church for help.
“Some weeks we have as many as 20 new people seeking assistance,” Pr Bates said.
GDF SUEZ Australian Energy group manager corporate affairs Jim Kouts said it was clearly a cause which could make a tangible difference to people’s lives.
The meal distribution program will run as a pilot for the first six months and FareShare hopes to increase deliveries to more than once per month at the end of the pilot.