In response to the sudden impact COVID-19 had on our region, FoodShare instigated a Community Pantry program to provide food hampers directly to local residents so anyone in need could access quality nutritious food. There was so much demand for this service that the FoodShare Shop opened in November last year with the added flexibility for anyone experiencing financial hardship to select their own grocery items.
FoodShare is now collaborating with Mind Australia to provide further support for those that need it most in our cross-border community. Mind is one of the country's leading community-managed specialist mental health service providers with strong connections across the support provider network to help identify and connect people to the support services they need.
FoodShare will share their office space in Wigg Street, Wodonga with team members from Mind’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub in Wodonga so, when people contact FoodShare for food relief assistance, those requiring help will be asked if they would like to speak to someone from the Mind team, who can assist them with additional support.
The Wodonga Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub is one of ten Hubs Mind is operating across Victoria. They are part of a $13.3 million Victorian Government commitment to provide Victorians with easier access to mental health support to address the impacts of the pandemic. The Hubs provide a mix of free face-to-face support, telehealth, mobile outreach and online delivery services, making it easy to access free and immediate support for anyone with mental health or wellbeing concerns.
The Mind support workers will assess a person’s needs, help develop strategies to cope, and provide direct links and pathways to other health and social support services. All their services are free and support is also available for families, friends and carers of people who are experiencing mental health issues.
Anyone with mental health concerns can also access a Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub directly by calling 1300 375 330.
This partnership between FoodShare and Mind Australia is strengthening the connection for people in need with quality nutritious food and essential support services.
FoodShare’s General Manager Peter Matthews said “This collaboration provides access to a greater support network and essential care for those who are continuing to navigate through the impacts of the pandemic.
“This partnership also enhances the resilience of our local communities impacted by hardship, while continuing to encourage good nutrition across the region”.
Mind Australia CEO Gill Callister said, “This partnership between FoodShare and Mind in Wodonga is a first for Victoria and such a good idea, bringing a broader range of services together for people in need. I hope it becomes the first of many.”
Image (L-R) Carla Buckley (Mind), Susan Black (Mind), Wayne Jose (Mind), Peter Matthews (FoodShare) and Nicole Eirth (FoodShare).