Grant kicks off charity food HQ


Geelong will have a new central warehouse to distribute charity food to thousands of needy people after the tabling of a $250,000 founding grant.

Give Where You Live chiefs hope the hub will provide long term benefit, critically combining strengths and eliminating duplications in a big-hearted existing network which has 53 organisations distribution more than 2600 tonnes of food.

Chief executive Bill Mithen announced the pioneering grant.

Mr Mithen called for agencies to submit expressions of interest and said it would be underpinned in part by donations to the Feed Geelong campaign.
“The need is absolutely urgent with 60 per cent of agencies saying there is an increase in people asking for assistance and 100 meals a day already going out, and that’s growing” Mr Mithen said.

“the need is there, it’s hidden but it’s absolutely there and it’s critical that we do something about it.

“While this is a two-year grant we see that this is a very long-term intervention.”

More than 60 people at a Feed Geelong community lunch at Geelong’s Christ Church Hall yesterday applauded the move as they absorbed dramatic findings from a ground breaking Food for Thought study into food assistance in the region.

Mr Mithen said great work was under way.

“But it’s often disparate and there’s often replicating of that work” he said.

“Often agencies are going to the same places to seek donations or going to the same places to get food and there’s just an inefficiency in that we think we can tidy up a little bit with a more centralised approach”.

Expression of interest details will be posted on the Give Where You Live website during the next week.

Mr Mithen hopes the successful applicant will be ready to run by March or April of next year.

“It’s not just about a warehouse, it’s more about the system” he said.

The rigorous selection process would seek an agency with the right operational capacity, ability to build partnerships and provide leadership in realigning the food provision system and vision.