Trust to provide more relief

Prominent issues and new developments relevant to service providers and network members were discussed at Latrobe City Council’s Emergency Relief and Client Support Services bi-monthly meeting on Thursday.

Community development officer Teresa Pugliese told The Express the Latrobe City Trust would be open to applications from service providers for monetary allocations after the trust obtained funding from the Department of Justice.

“The Latrobe City Trust overseas donations specifically for emergency relief on behalf of the council,” Ms Pugliese said.

“Some of the funding comes from fines from the courts or when individuals are asked by magistrates to make a donation.”

The trust will distribute the funding to emergency relief services by an application process, as explained to service providers at the meeting.

“It’s a good way of utilising that money that helps the community,” Ms Pugliese said.

Guest speaker, Food Bank Victoria chief executive Dave McNamara, additionally addressed trends that were affecting the capacity of the Food Bank and other service providers in Victoria.

“(Mr McNamara) spoke about how many suppliers are taking food production overseas,” Ms Pugliese said. “The amount of surplus previously available to the food bank is not as available now.

“(Mr McNamara) also announced that Food Bank Victoria has been funded by the State Government to run breakfast programs for 500 of the most disadvantaged schools in Victoria.”

Ms Pugliese said this announcement would likely be relevant to the Latrobe Valley, however information regarding the specific schools which would receive the funded breakfast programs had not yet been released.

The new Emergency Relief and Client Support Services resource brochure, an updated compilation of all the emergency relief and client support services in the Valley, was also announced at the meeting.

“It’s a great resource for service providers because often if someone comes into one service provider for help, there are more things going on than that service provider can address,” Ms Pugliese said.

“This resource will assist in referring people to the right places.”

For more information on the available service provider funding visit the council website, or to pick up a copy of the service provider resource brochure, visit council’s Morwell headquarters.

*Heidi Kraak is Monash University journalism student.