THE GOLDFIELDS Ministries Foodshare cooks 300 meals every week for struggling locals and now they’ve cooked up a plan that is “so crazy it just might work”.
The not-for-profit will ask locals to donate $1 to help buy the building space they work from, which includes a kitchen, café and seven motel units that would fund the foodshare.
Chief executive Robert Peachy said every $1 donation would allow the foodshare to expand and feed even more people.
“If 500 people put in $1 that’s already $500,” he said.
But Rob said he was confident that the community would dig even deeper than $1.
“We’re asking for $1 because it’s a clever bit of psychology. Would you go to the bank and deposit $1? I’d like to say it was my idea but it wasn’t.”
Foodshare volunteers collect about one tonne of food from Bendigo Foodshare and give it to hungry locals every Wednesday at the Emeu Inn from 12 noon.
The food comes from Foodbank Victoria, which collects surplus food that would otherwise end up in landfill.
Rob said he was inspired to start the foodshare in Heathcote when he saw a similar program on a trip to Queensland.
He approached the Wesleyan Methodist Church to recruit volunteers, and community support has continued to grow beyond what he had ever anticipated.
Rob said the foodshare was becoming about more than just the food and was now a community hub for the people of Heathcote.
“We have all sorts of people coming in, young and old. It’s becoming a very big point in Heathcote,” he said.
“Anyone doing it tough or who just needs help can come in and have a chat. We’ve probably had eight or nine people who were thinking of committing suicide this year. We’ve managed to turn them right around, and now they’re helping us drive vans.”
If you would like to donate you can drop off $1 at the coffee shop in Emeu Inn or make a deposit at: Bank: Bendigo Bank Heathcote, BSB: 633108, Account number: 160974861.