DROMANA Community House is running a program to lighten the load for families and individuals struggling to make ends meet.
The weekly Grab and Go program turns donated food into hot meals for the needy, with time-poor families able to “grab and go” from 4pm to 4.30pm.
Community house manager Tracey Trueman services had been ramped up at the house as food poverty grew locally.
“Over 70 families are collecting weekly on Thursdays from 10 am to 10.30am and our pop-up cart is stocked and well visited by the community seven days a week,” she said.
In addition, the pop-up cart – available Monday to Friday at 9.30am, noon and 4pm – is well visited by the community, as is the 10am to 10.30am Thursday food share program.
The programs are a joint effort with Bendigo Bank Community Branch Southern Peninsula and other sponsors, allowing the house to roll out more “emerging community needs that address food insecurity”.
Trueman said the house fulfilled several community needs, by tackling food scarcity and poverty, and empowering people through volunteering, education, social inclusion and connection.
She said it would also be rolling out practical ways to eat healthier and stretch food further.
Food Share Thursday is supported by SecondBite, a charity that collects and distributes wasted food to more than 1000 community food programs across Australia and supplies all food free of charge.
To date it has rescued and distributed the equivalent of more than 100 million meals.
Every week Second Bite delivers one or two pallets to Dromana, including pantry items, fruit and vegetables.
Charity Bright Sparqe also donated 60 freshly prepared meals each week, while Coles Mc Crae, Aldi Dromana, Ritchies Dromana, Bakers Delight Dromana, Torello Farmgate, Millers Bakery, St Mark’s parishioners, Mornington Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Dromana Rotary Club, McCrae Lions Club, Ministry of Meat, Pier Street Bakery, Dairy Lane, Merv and gang from the Dromana Rotary Club and Woolworths also donated.
“It’s a whole community effort,” she said.
Dromana Boomerang Bags made bags from fabric destined for landfill and sold the bags for $3 at Foundation Foods, Pier Street Lions Op shop and the Dromana Branch Bendigo Bank.
“Mount Eliza Neighbourhood House support us with coats in winter and bread, Knit one Give One knits blankets scarves and hats and raise funds through raffles, Frankston Community Support stores our food for collection on Wednesdays, Vinnie’s Kitchen Rosebud support with donations of excess produce, Peninsula Community Legal Centre visit offer free legal advice, Clothes4U support people in need of clothing free of charge, and Bunnings Warehouse Rosebud provided raised beds and plants for our seed pod garden,” Trueman said.
The community house’s seed pod garden supplied herbs and vegetables and was a learning space for children and students undertaking volunteering certificates.
“We now collect enough food over seven days a week to top up our pop-up at the gate Monday to Friday from 9.30am, noon and there is usually more bread available at 4pm,” Trueman said.
Dromana Community House, at 15 Gibson Street, Dromana, is seeking more volunteers to “rescue” food during the week and on weekends.