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Unico is an Australian team of IT professionals committed to providing smart and more practical IT solutions to help our customers stay ahead of the pack. Unico employees are active volunteers at FareShare, a major beneficiary of the Feed Melbourne campaign. Unico has proudly assisted in producing this year’s Feed Melbourne website.
The Pratt Foundation was established in 1978 by Richard and Jeanne Pratt with the shared vision of supporting charitable enterprises and adding value to philanthropy. The Foundation is now one of the largest private sources of philanthropy in Australia.
In 2001 the Foundation provided seed funding to FareShare (then One Umbrella) – a small community initiative that had started working with businesses to cook donations of surplus food and providing charities with free nutritious meals.
By the time FareShare approached The Pratt Foundation to establish Feed Melbourne in 2009, the Foundation had a good understanding of food rescue and food relief in Melbourne and saw the need for building the capacity of local food charities.
The Pratt Foundation has helped the launch of the campaign and enabled 20 awards to be given out over four years.
The Rowville Baptist Church pastor said the funds would buy new equipment for the church’s kitchen, used to cater for community events and church support groups.
“The grant is going to make it a lot easier for us to prepare food,” Mr Devine said. “One of our old ovens just died. Hopefully, because the equipment will be better, we will get some more volunteers too.”
He said he also hoped to make the church’s monthly community meal, Food with Friends, a fortnightly event.
He said the meals were both nutritionally and socially beneficial.
“They bring people together,” he said.
Mr Devine said there were a number of agencies feeding people in Knox and a growing demand for these services.
“A number of people are doing it tough and it is good to be reminded of this and encouraged in our efforts,” he said.
The Reverend Kevin Potter and his wife Robyn have handed out canned, fresh and frozen foods from their garage for the past 20 years, as part of Epping’s Countrywide Community Missions Victoria.
With no recurrent funding, the cost of helping others falls almost entirely on their own shoulders.
Mr Potter will use the grant to buy a refrigerated van.
“I was practically doing handflips when I heard (about the grant),” Mr Potter said. “With this hot weather coming up, you’ve got to have a refrigerated vehicle for the frozen food.
Up to 120 people, mostly families and single mums, use the food service every week, and Mr Potter said the number was increasing.
Volunteers with the South Kingsville organisation’s Foodlink program collect donated food from locations around the west and distribute it to those in need, including schools, seniors, housing and emergency relief organisations.
Gateway’s William Kelly said the grant would be used to extend the Foodlink program by purchasing a new refrigeration unit and cover operating costs.
“It’s great that we get all this food but our issue is, we have nowhere to store some of it,” Mr Kelly said.
“A refrigeration unit will help.”
The grant will also assist training of Gateway volunteers and enable the group to buy some occupational health and safety equipment, such as trolleys.
“It will help us expand the initiative so we can offer it to more community groups,” Mr Kelly said.
Mr Kelly said he was inspired to apply for a Feed Melbourne grant as the campaign recognised the importance of organisations such as Gateway that provide food to people in need.
“(It was) the recognition that there are wonderful groups out there rescuing food, and also the need to support them,” he said.
Program co-ordinator Cheryl Johnson said demand had grown so much the organisation was serving about 250 lunches a week, compared with about 150 a year ago.
That demand has made even more invaluable a $6000 cash injection from the Feed Melbourne campaign, which will enable the service to replace the trailer it uses to pick up ingredients from Food Bank Victoria’s Yarraville warehouse.
“It’s wonderful news that we’ve got this money because our old trailer is about to fall apart,” Ms Johnson said.
She said a trailer would cost $5000, with the remaining $1000 to go towards a new meal delivery service for people who were too ill to cook.
Destiny Care has this year delivered more than 2600 hampers to locals in need.
Co-ordinator Alison Sutherland said the grant would go towards renovations and buying a new fridge.
Ms Sutherland said Destiny Care helped people from Kingston and beyond, handing out 60 food hampers a week.
“They are for people doing it tough in the community,” she said.
“We appreciate that there’s a lot of working poor and families who just can’t make ends meet.”
The hampers include cereal, pasta and meal bases, fruit and vegetables and milk and meat when possible.
“The grant will make a huge difference. I can’t even begin to say how much it will help,” Ms Sutherland said.
“We see people with some very sad stories. They have had things happen that are outside of their control.
“This grant will help us provide them with a better service.”
The Dandenong drop-in centre’s role just got a little easier with a $10,000 grant from Leader’s Feed Melbourne campaign.
Kitchen manager Gloria Anderson said the money would help them build shelves in their storeroom, among other things.
“It will be very handy. We’ve recently set up a separate store room to differentiate food for cooking and for food parcels, so this will help to create that area,” she said.
Previous Feed Melbourne grants have funded larger fridges and freezers to store the food.
Cornerstone churns out 27,000 free meals a year and offers a range of support programs.