Freemasons Foundation Victoria and the United Memorial and Merbein Lodge have donated $21,500 to Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council Foodbank to assist with the distribution of food to needy families. The Foodbank administered by SMECC in conjunction with Mildura Rural City Council and Sunraysia Community Health Service provides food and essential items for women and children to about 60 families each week.
Master and United Memorial and Merbein Lodge, Wor Bro Gary Pearse said that the lodge and Freemasons throughout Victoria, and especially in Sunraysia, were pleased to assist people in need. Freemasons Foundation Victoria since 2014 has donated more than $21,1 million to support Victorians through scholarships and community projects as well as relief to people affected by recent fires and organisations impacted by COVID-19. United Memorial and Merbein Lodge provides annual scholarships to students at the Red Cliffs High School, Merbein P10 College, Ouyen P12, TAFE College totalling $8000 a year, and donations to Chaffey Aged Care and Jacaranda Village at Red Cliffs of $4000 a year. In the past 15 years the lodge has donated close to $45,000 in school scholarships, an amount which is raised to $90,000 by the equal contribution of the Freemasons Foundation Victoria. The Lodge formed by returned servicemen after World War One, has also contributed $90,000 to local Legacy since Legacy was formed in 1935.