A SUNRAYSIA food relief service is able to meet increased demand for food hampers and cooked meals in Sunraysia after receiving another round of government funding.

The Victorian Government has announced that Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council would receive $66,800 to continue providing food relief to less fortunate people.

SMECC interim executive officer Frank Piscioneri said the service had seen an increase in demand due to the COVID pandemic.

He said SMECC was providing 300 to 400 food hampers a week, on top of about 100 cooked meals.

“What we are trying to do is cater for the needs of the community, so what we are trying to do, rather than just do all dry goods or all cooked meals, is actually see what the demand is out there and trying to satisfy the demand,” he said.

“It is all based around what the community need and, like any other not-for-profit in the area, we try to stretch the funding as far as we can.”

Mr Pisconeri said the continued government funding was necessary.

“That’s the only funding we get for food relief in the Sunraysia area because it does go as far as Robinvale and Ouyen.”

SMECC was one of 13 organisations to share in $1.67 million from the latest round of the Food Relief Financial Reserve funding.

The funding was set out to provide extra support to community food-share groups, which have helped the most vulnerable Victorians put food on the table throughout the pandemic.

The government said through the funding 2.5 million meals had been delivered and 46 full-time equivalent food relief jobs were supported.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the State Government was supporting SMECC to continue its work in delivering food to locals in need.

“No one in our community should be going hungry,” he said.



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