Heathcote Foodshare closes, op shop remains

By Vanessa Wiltshire

AFTER more than two years, Heathcote Foodshare is closing its doors.

Friday, September 13 will be its last day; the charity having provided food relief to an average of 450 people, or 250 families, each week since 2016.

President Rob Peachey said the decision was incredibly tough. “Food security is a massive issue in Heathcote and our surrounding communities,” he said.

“But it boils down to not being able to get enough food,” he said. “Resources are becoming more and more limited.”

The closure follows a recent accident at Quarry Hill, where their truck was written off.

According to the Bendigo Advertiser, the vehicle was covered by insurance but had been bought for half its market value, leaving volunteers to rely on one smaller vehicle as they called for donations to upgrade a new truck.

"We have had a lot of donations, some of which were quite large, from our community," Robert told the Advertiser.

The McIvor Times spoke to Mr Peachey on Wednesday, who confirmed donations had been received for a new truck. Though he did not say how much.

“The truck was fully insured, and we are using an old Toyota Van," he said. "We are looking to upgrade to a new van.”

He said the Foodshare op shop would remain open. “We will relocate the op shop to our food share site,” he said.

“With the new bakery opening, it’s in a prime position. Money raised from the op shop will distributed to local charities. This isn't the end, but a new beginning."

Marketing and Communications Coordinator of Bendigo Foodshare Stephanie Flynn said they learned about the closure of Heathcote Foodshare on Wednesday.

“We are not the same organisation; however, we are working quickly to determine how we can help continue services in Heathcote,” Ms Flynn said.

“Our operating model is different; we provide food to charities, not direct to the public.

“But we recognise many people rely on the foodshare service. We are committed to helping deliver a solution.”