The Shepparton Foodshare annual fundraising dinner, ‘Make a Meal of June’ was held at The Woolshed @ Emerald Bank this week. The sell-out event was an overwhelming success with a record $100,000 being raised during the evening.
12 very generous local business and individuals each committed $2,500 to support Shepparton Foodshare via a ‘monthly partner package’, individual pledges were made and Greater Shepparton Connected Community presented a cheque for $55,000, the largest single donation that has ever been presented by the grant program committee.
It was a wonderful celebration of community and partnerships. We are in awe of the generous individuals and businesses that were in the room last night, it is amazing what can be achieved when a group of like-minded people get together to make a real difference.
- Rod Shubert, Shepparton Foodshare Chair
Attendees were treated to a beautiful three-course meal created by The Woolshed Chef Angela using many ingredients sourced from Shepparton Foodshare. Rod said, “the menu was a showcase of the quality food that we rescue and distribute at Foodshare and demonstrates the diverse variety of food available that can be used to make a tasty and nutritious meal.”
Guest speakers from Orange Sky Australia and The Education First Youth Foyer provided an overview of the work that they do that like Shepparton Foodshare, helps to restore hope and dignity to people in need. Past Foyer participant, Alex Newling, inspired all with his story from homelessness as at a young person, to how the support of organisations such as The Foyer and Foodshare made a difference in his life enabling him to focus on his year 12 studies. Alex now has full time employment and, with his partner Hayley, have purchased their first home. The $100,000 raised will support around 75% of Shepparton Foodshare’s operational costs for the next 12 months.
Monthly partner packages were secured for each month for the next 12, contributing $30,000, the Attwood Trust again committed to donating $10,000, The Woolshed owners Cam and Angela Mangiameli, along with donating the use of the magnificent venue for the event, donated $5,000 and the $55,000 from Greater Shepparton Connected Community made up the impressive $100,000 that was raised. Also contributing to the success of the evening were the major sponsors in Diverse Builders and Greater Shepparton City Council.
With no guaranteed recurrent or government funding, Foodshare relies heavily on the support of the community donations and philanthropy to ensure the critical local service can continue. Rod said, “no other local service offers the type of support that Shepparton Foodshare does and with food insecurity on the rise, particularly in regional areas such as Greater Shepparton, it is now more important than ever that it is able to continue to operate and support the almost 100 emergency relief agencies, schools and church groups that access Shepparton Foodshare food to distribute to those in need”.
On average 300,000 kilograms of food is distributed annually. To deliver this community service, Foodshare is supported by more than 25 volunteers who combined donate more than 100 hours each week. In addition, Foodshare partners with supermarkets, business and other food rescue agencies across the state to provide nutritious food from each food group. Foodshare plays a critical role in rescuing food that was otherwise destined for landfill. As a result, since 2012, more than two million kilograms of food has been used to feed local people who would have otherwise gone hungry.