Every Monday evening since 2005, a small group of people set up in Nicholson Street Mall in Footscray to provide home cooked vegetarian meals, fruit and vegetables, snack packs, tea/coffee/milo/sugar, drinks, non-perishable food items, bread, adult clothing, shoes, toiletries, doonas, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags to people experiencing homelessness and those generally struggling.

    Since 2020, the Seddon Village community has embraced the local charity to support Randa, Ron, Paul and their team of volunteers in their mission to provide selfless service to the community.

    The partnership started when staff at the Community Bank Seddon heard about Reaching Out In The Inner West Of Melbourne and decided to run a food drive, in conjunction with Far Fetched Designs, to collect essential food items to assist with the cooking of meals and to hand out at their Monday Night Service .

    Once lockdowns hit Melbourne, Reaching Out was one of the few charities that continued to operate with their clientele growing five fold in size. While many Seddon businesses were unable to operate as usual, it created the opportunity for many to use their time to cook meals or donate additional produce.

    Over time, the Seddon Village contributions have expanded to include collections of food and winter coats, dry cleaning of donated blankets, quilts and bedding, contributions of cooked meals, fresh produce and non-perishable items as well as volunteering.

    ‘Since becoming President of the Seddon Village Traders Association (SVTA), it has been my goal to find a local charity for our business community to support. Our organisation is always calling out to our community for support, so it just felt natural for our business community to find a way to give back,’ said SVTA President Suzanne Saunders.

    ‘Despite the challenges that small businesses have faced in recent years, it has been wonderful to see the natural evolution of the relationship that our business community now has with Reaching Out In The Inner West Of Melbourne. It just reinforces how compassionate and connected our little village is.’

    Randa says she has often been left speechless with the support Reaching Out In The Inner West has received. ‘Thank you so much to the amazing Seddon Village! We honestly couldn’t do it without such unconditional support, understanding and compassion. We haven’t gone out and sought support! It has happened organically. Initially it started with a phone call in February 2020, from Suzanne from the Community Bank Seddon, offering support.

    I was totally speechless as part of our selfless service was to use our own personal means to support people in need (and we did that for more than a decade). As lockdown hit and the level of need skyrocketed we started to accept fresh produce and nonperishable food donations to meet the need in the community.

    Our charity tends to attract people that can give selflessly and expand their heart! No other way forward for humanity: love and compassion for all without judgment!’ 

    Seddon Village Traders Association would like to acknowledge the support of local businesses Masters Dry Cleaners, Casa Di Tutti, Pompello, Miss An’am, Happy Apple, Foodworks Seddon, Far Fetched Designs and Community Bank Seddon.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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