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Community pantry up and running for Mount Alexander Shire residents

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Thursday 9 April 2020

Local volunteers, community groups and organisations are working together to provide food relief for residents in need in Mount Alexander Shire. Mount Alexander Community Pantry is a centrally coordinated food relief system which aims to provide assistance in the absence of a local foodbank.

“We’ve all been impacted by COVID-19 and many people are finding it difficult at the moment. Some people have lost their job or regular income, and others may not be receiving the same levels of support due to things like social distancing rules,” said Martyn Shaddick, Manager, Castlemaine Community House.

Volunteers, community groups and organisations has worked quickly to set up the Mount Alexander Community Pantry to offer prepared meals and food packages.

"It is time to come together as a community, a giant family. Like we do as Aboriginal people. It is also time to adapt and deepen support for each other and focus on what is the same,” said Kath Coff, Coordinator, Nalderun.

The Castlemaine Church of Christ and Maldon Community Centre have donated their space to use for storing, cooking and packing of foods, under strict hygiene standards.

Volunteers from the Church of Christ, Castlemaine Community House, CHIRP Community Health, Maldon Neighbourhood Centre, Nalderun, The Salvation Army, St Mary’s Parish and St Vincent de Paul have been recruited for packing, kitchen and delivery duties.

Other organisations are providing donations or in-kind support including Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative Bendigo Foodshare, Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership, Lions Club, Mount Alexander Shire Council, Mount Alexander Disability Advocacy Group (MASDAG), Rotary Second Bite and SuperCold Coolrooms.

“It’s been fantastic to see so many organisations and groups come together and create this service so quickly,” said Emma Shannon, Prevention and Planning Manager, Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership.

“The Salvation Army is used to providing food relief packages,” said Captain Annita Allman from The Salvation Army.

“With an increase in demand for food relief, it is great we’ve been able to create a system that can be coordinated in a sustainable way for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.”

To access pre-prepared meals or food packages, please contact the Mount Alexander Community Pantry Intake Coordinator on 0472 537 866, email mtalexcommunitypantry@gmail.com or order online at www.cch.org.au/communitypantry.

Pick up can be organised from Church of Christ on Blakely Road in Castlemaine or delivered between 10am -1pm the following day.

Please call the central number to register before attending. Mt Alexander Community Pantry will also be operating in Maldon, with deliveries of frozen meals on Tuesdays and Fridays starting from Tuesday 14 April.

We are calling on community members to donate to the new service through PayPal, please call or email for details.

Media release issued by Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership on behalf of the Mount Alexander Community Pantry.

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