FoodShare fundraises to build ‘forever home’

Make A Meal of June: FoodShare and The Woolshed team up to raise money for the construction of the charity’s forever home. (From left) Anthony Keating, Angela Mangiameli, Grace Grieve and Jeremy Renford. Photo by Megan Fisher

Shepparton FoodShare’s annual fundraising dinner, ‘Make A Meal of June’, is back at The Woolshed at Emerald Bank on June 1 after two years, with the profits going towards funding the construction of FoodShare’s long-term home.

The Woolshed’s Angela Mangiameli will put together a three-course meal using food and ingredients rescued by FoodShare.

“Shepparton FoodShare is such an essential local service, they provide food for people in need, opportunities and connections for volunteers and prevent quality food from going to landfill,” she said.

The event, which will seat up to 200 guests at $100 per ticket, is a crucial step in the fundraising campaign by FoodShare to build its forever home.

FoodShare is running out of time to get its new home built, after receiving notice to vacate its warehouse in Mooroopna.

But the site for the new warehouse continues to sit vacant, as raising sufficient funding for construction remains a big challenge.

Now there is a real risk the food relief organisation will be forced to move before its new home is ready.

The food rescue service recently received a donation of land from the Andreadis family, along with a $600,000 funding commitment from the Federal Government.

But the cost of actually building the facility has risen dramatically since then and with no funding committed by the Victorian Government in the state budget, there will be a deficit in the funds available to FoodShare for construction.

“It’s like hanging on to the edge of a cliff,” Mr Rensford said.

“We have received some initial funding, we've received that block of land which has been donated to us so generously, (but) there is still a gap.”

Aside from a few paltry grants, FoodShare relies almost completely on 207 hours of volunteer work per week and the generosity of the community to provide food relief for people in need.

“We are a community organisation. We historically have not relied on government funding ... we will either get it from the community or from philanthropic giving,” Mr Rensford said.

Operations manager Grace Grieve said the demand for food relief in Greater Shepparton had increased dramatically due to the skyrocketing cost of living, stagnant wages and insecure employment.

Based on feedback from the 100 or so distribution partners including schools, churches and community centres that get the food to those who need it, this rise in food insecurity is only going to get worse.

“The agencies that collect our food for the people they support are telling us they are seeing new individuals and families regularly; these are people that have not needed a hand up before,” Mr Rensford said.

Tickets to the fundraising dinner are available at: