An increasing number of Victorians are seeking food assistance as the cost of living increases. Yarraville Community Centre (YCC) in Melbourne’s inner-west has diversified their services to meet the current needs of their community by launching a free ‘food pantry’. A food pantry is a community-based program that collects and safely stores food and household products for free distribution to those in need. Whilst the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages is the second-largest household expense, only after housing costs, (as reported in the 2015-16 Australian Bureau of Statistics expenditure survey), a growing number of people are reaching out for help as cost of living pressures rise.
“We have identified a demand in our community for food relief since cost of living has surged. Yarraville Community Centre aims to foster community wellbeing with numerous free initiatives that our community can easily access. Our Food Pantry is one such initiative aiming to assist people in finding essential groceries during these uncertain times.” Christine McCall, CEO Yarraville Community Centre.
The Food Pantry stock varies from week to week but generally includes a good range of dry pantry items such as cereals, tuna, pasta, rice, tinned vegetables, fruit and vegetables.
The Food Pantry is located in a safe, friendly, and dignified environment and the groceries are available to anyone in need of extra support or assistance. While you might not know exactly what has been donated each week, you can be assured that there will be something to eat, cook or use at home.
“There is never any judgement or questioning, just friendly faces. You will feel welcome here,” says Christine.
Yarraville Community Centre would like to thank the Australian Men’s Shed Association (Braybrook) for all the hard work that has gone into building the pantry.
How can you help?
Donate Food – If you are a local individual or business that would like to contribute, YCC welcomes donations of unopened in date dry pantry items. Donations of non-perishables can be dropped off at the pantry directly or at the office.
Sponsor – Financial donations are gratefully accepted and will help us purchase products that we can’t alwaThe Food Pantry is located in a safe, friendly, and dignified environment and the groceries are available to anyone in need of extra support or assistance.ys easily source. Donations can be made by calling 03 9687 1560 or visiting in person.
The Pantry is located at 59 Francis Street, Yarraville opposite the main entrance, on the concrete wall, and is open and accessible at all times. Take what you need and leave what you can. We also have snap frozen cooked meals that are available from our freezer during business hours.
Volunteer – YCC are looking for volunteers to assist with the program who will be able to manage the pantry, by re-stocking and ensuring that it is kept in good order. We also need volunteers to establish working relationships with other community organisations to ensure we provide a stocked pantry throughout the year.