MHA Care (Moira Foodshare) and Yarrawonga Community Health Service are once again in partnership to provide local residents who have fallen on hard times with Christmas hampers and gifts to put under the tree this Christmas.
Moira Foodshare Manager Robin Harwood said donations had already come through from Berrigan Lions Club, Numurkah Lions Club and St Vincent De Paul Cobram but Foodshare was always looking for more donations to offset the cost of Christmas relief.
Some Christmas food items such as puddings, cakes, custard and jellies are all paid for by Foodshare which is why they need donations from the community to help them provide more people with these items this Christmas.
Robin said a majority of the goods are donated from different sources but monetary donations are always needed from the community.
“Monetary donations are better for us because we can buy Christmas type food items which are complemented by other products donated by the community,” Robin said.
“Donations are what keep us going because if we didn’t have donations and support from the community we could not operate.
“We support people who are disadvantaged in the greater community, that is the whole point of Foodshare.
“We’re here to support the community and people who are disadvantaged and doing it tough and our service is free so help from the community in the way of food product donations or money is always greatly appreciated.”
Between 500 and 600 hampers will be distributed this year through Moira Shire, Federation, Berrigan, Jerilderie and the City of Greater Shepparton.
Most of the products are provided from several sources including Foodbank Victoria, Campbells Soup, Simplot Echuca and SPC Ardmona in Shepparton as well as individuals providing cans of unwanted or unneeded items and service clubs help out by donating money.
Volunteers have been very busy putting the hampers together in Cobram with the boxes that are used for the hampers currently being painted and Christmas logos being put on them as well as products being sourced.
Robin said they will begin to be distributed from early December and he is proud and thankful of the work the volunteers have done so far.
“We have an incredible band of volunteers who work so hard at this type of year, they work all year round but this is the busiest period,” Robin said.
“We currently have around 40 volunteers at Moira Foodshare but we are always looking for more.
“Without the volunteers we wouldn’t be able to run this service.”
The Christmas Foodshare Hampers are a project of MHA Care but Robin said several local organisations had a large involvement which has proved successful.
“The Moira Foodshare work closely with St Vincent De Paul and we appreciate the support of both them and Yarrawonga Health as the three groups work well together and have proven to be popular,” Robin said.
“Our greatest desire is for people to have a really great Christmas and the Christmas Hamper project is designed to help people to do just that.
“There’s a good supply of food for Christmas and New Year which makes it a lot easier for people.”
Any members of the community who need assistance or would like a hamper must register at Yarrawonga Health or by contacting Yarrawonga Health Community Services on 5744 8500.