Local organisations and community groups in Mount Alexander Shire have come together to develop a centrally coordinated food relief system in response to local need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In response to a surge in requests for food relief due to the initial impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership brought together a group of local organisations and community groups to develop a centralised food relief system.
Mount Alexander Community Pantry partners included 13 organisations contributing to various aspects of the service including Mount Alexander Shire Council, CHIRP Community Health, Castlemaine Community House, Maldon Neighbourhood Centre, Nalderun, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Castlemaine Church of Christ, St Mary’s Parish, Mount Alexander Disability Advocacy Group, Lions Club and Bendigo & District Aboriginal Cooperative.
Over nine weeks, from early April 2020 to mid-June, the Mount Alexander Community Pantry assisted 114 different households by delivering over 2000 frozen meals and over 500 grocery packs.
The pantry set-up was achieved quickly and successfully due to the level of pre-existing relationships and trust between a number of the key organisations involved. Ongoing evaluation of the process and impact of the community pantry will continue to inform decision making as the service continues to evolve in response to community needs.
The Mount Alexander Shire sits outside the current lockdown areas of Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.