• 09 AUG 19
    • 0
    The Power of Community

    The Power of Community

    How it took a village to raise a food donation for the ASRC.

    Isn’t it wonderful what a local community can do when passionate, committed individuals get behind a project?  In Melbourne’s northeast, the idea for a Long Winter Food Drive for the ASRC Foodbank was born when Ivanhoe Library approached the Montmorency Asylum Seekers Support Group (MASSG) to partner in a Refugee Week event that would achieve something useful for people seeking asylum. In collaboration with Rosanna and Watsonia Libraries, they agreed on a month-long food drive for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

    MASSG’s Convenor, Lyn Richards, contacted the ASRC to obtain a flyer with a list of our most-needed grocery items.  The libraries agreed to act as drop-off points, and MASSG committed to collecting and storing the donations from the various drop-off points. Three local food haven businesses – Earthbound Bolton CaféNature’s Harvest, and Hurstbridge Deli & Larder – jumped on board, as did the office of local MP, Vicki Ward.

    Social media, flyers and posters and the MASSG newsletter helped spread the word, and three local Churches – St. Margaret’s Church, Eltham, Eltham-Montmorency Uniting Church and Manningham Uniting Church as well as Eltham preschool joined the drive. Lyn arranged for our Food and Goods Donations Coordinator to deliver a presentation at the Ivanhoe Library, providing an opportunity for people to hear first-hand about the work we do at the ASRC, and to ask questions.

    Over a four-week period, MASSG members collected non-perishable food donations from the drop off points, filling an entire room with sixty boxes of food and essentials.  At Hurstbridge market, a local orchardist offered six boxes of his fresh apples, and two MASSG members donated three boxes of home-grown limes.

    The challenge now was delivery. The solution came from Man with a Van, who provided pro bono a large truck and the services of two men to transport the formidable load from Kangaroo Ground to the ASRC in Footscray. Meanwhile, Lyn and her husband Tom delivered the fresh fruit.

    We are so grateful to MASSG and the communities who donated so generously to this food drive. This donation will help put food on our members’ tables for many weeks to come. The local community also donated $1,600 in cash, which MASSG will use to buy more essential food for us online over the coming weeks.

    If you’d like to find out more about running a food drive at your school, church or community group, please get in touch with us today. Or you can make your own donation of food and goods online with this helpful guide.

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