A feed for those in need

Kyneton Caring Community's Noel Harvey and Kate Papadopoulos re-stock the shelves for the foodbank.

Kyneton Caring Community's Noel Harvey and Kate Papadopoulos re-stock the shelves for the foodbank.

A local movement working to redirect the shire's food waste to feed those in need is fast growing.

Kyneton Caring Community's foodbank has already linked with supermarkets like Woodend Coles, Kyneton Woolworths and Kyneton IGA, as well as local bakeries, to support 300 families on its books in the Macedon Ranges.

In the past three months the foodbank has had 150 users regularly access its service which helps put food on the table for those who might otherwise go without, says operations manager Noel Harvey.

"We're really interested in trying to access the food waste that comes out of local food businesses that we can put to good use. To me, that's a challenge that we need to tackle," he said.

"I've been amazed by the level of homelessness that's in the area and the number of people in need of this service. It is a massive challenge keeping on top of the demand that's out there."

The food waste Mr Harvey refers to is food fit for consumption but taken off the shelves for various reasons: food close to its use-by or expiry date, unsold goods at the end of a business day, and fresh produce that no longer meets consumer expectations.

"They have a few more days in them and we can utilise them here. Within reason, we can deal with most of those things," Mr Harvey says.

The foodbank is also stocked fortnightly with goods purchased or accessed through Foodbank Victoria in Melbourne and Bendigo Foodshare.

Purchases are made possible via community donations and all sales made at the Kyneton Caring Community op-shop that operates in tandem with the service.

Both services are mostly volunteer-operated and the foodbank also links with the Work for the Dole program which has been life-changing for Woodend's Kate Papadopoulos, who has stayed on as a volunteer after finding her calling.

"I really loved the environment and helping people, and putting a smile on their faces," she said.

Her work at the foodbank has led to her interest in beginning a community services diploma at Bendigo TAFE.

Kyneton Caring Community has formed strong relations with local organisations such as Cobaw Community Health and local church groups who have been able to refer people in need to the service.

The Foodbank operates Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm at 60 Mollison Street, Kyneton. The Kyneton Caring Community operates Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm.

For updates and further details, access the Kyneton Caring Community Inc Facebook page.