Richmond Churches Food Centre Print

FoodThe Richmond Churches Food Centre is located behind St Ignatius' Church and operates every Monday and Friday from 9:30am - 1pm. The food centre is supported by the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Churches and supplies a weekly food parcel to people who live in the City of Yarra at risk of low food security upon presentation of their health care card.

Volunteers work at the centre, from 7am - 2pm on a Monday and a Friday, and 9am - 1pm on a Thursday, packing food from food deliveries into food parcels.

With the support of a range of local communities, our churches work together on this pastoral outreach service and help shape the mission of the food centre so that it reflects the pastoral mission of the Richmond churches.

Website: richmondchurches.weebly.com

History

The food centre started as a mission of St Stephen's Anglican Church, under the direction of Archdeacon Marjorie McGregor (Australia's first woman Archdeacon) in the 1980s. From small beginnings it had been serving the community out of both the church and hall until 2008. In 2008 the facilities were no longer available to the parish, so in collaboration with the Uniting Church and the Richmond Catholic Parish, the food centre was established at St Ignatius'. These three churches are on Richmond Hill and hence the centre was named the Richmond Hill Churches Food Centre. With other local churches not on Richmond Hill joining in the operation of the food centre, it was renamed the Richmond Churches Food Centre. The food centre is at the back of the old school of St Ignatius' (ie behind St Ignatius' Church).

The Richmond Churches Food Centre is administered by the incumbent ministers of the local churches mentioned earlier. The centre is staffed by volunteers from the churches and is supported by donations of food items (and some financial assistance as well) from the churches.

It is intended that emergency food aid be given to those in need. People who access food must present a pension card or a healthcare card. Food is distributed on Mondays and Fridays.

A large source of donated food comes from VicRelief, FoodBank Victoria Ltd and Food Share. We are able to access food from this source once a week. Parishioners from the churches donate food. Some local schools also organise “Can Drives”. Food from VicRelief/Food Bank comes at a small cost (which, however adds up in time) and the centre has to purchase bulk cans of food from Ardmona a few times a year.

In 2009 the centre purchased two large "cool rooms" to hold all of our perishable foods, allowing us to donate food such as frozen ready made meals. This came at a cost of $15,511.65 and was largely financed by a $10,000 donation from the Lord Mayors Fund in 2009.

Our figures show a sharp increase in the number of people turning to charities like the Richmond Churches Food Centre for help. The food centre is in continuous and urgent need of supplies such as canned food, baby products, breakfast foods, etc.

The food centre is grateful to the Yarra City Council for its support over the years.

The food centre holds a Christmas Day Luncheon each year in St Ignatius' Hall. A special invitation is extended to the many lonely people in our area to join us on this wonderful day.