Welfare agencies are calling on members of the Ballarat community for donations of food to help support people in need of emergency relief during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ballarat City Council is promoting the request for donations through its 'Be Kind Ballarat' campaign that encourages residents to help others, particularly vulnerable people, during this challenging time.
Salvation Army team leader John Clonan said donations of fruit and vegetables from supermarkets had dropped off since panic buying set in, making it harder for welfare agencies to provide fresh food through emergency relief and meals programs.
It is being kind to one another that makes up a community.John Clonan, Salvation Army Ballarat
He said he was expecting the service's client base and demand for support to increase, as more people are left without work.
"We are quite aware some people will be put off work and that we will probably have a new client base emerging," he said.
"We are aware that sector will probably be experiencing difficulties soon, if not sooner."
Salvation Army Ballarat and other welfare agencies have adjusted their services to respond to COVID-19.
Salvation Army is now operating telephone interview and assistance services. People assessed on the phone can then drive through the Salvation Army Ballarat Community Church car park to collect food supplies and vouchers.
The meals program is now offering takeaway meals for those in need at 12pm on a Tuesday and Thursday. Uniting and Anglicare's meals programs are also offering take away.
Bread and any extra fresh fruit can also be collected from the front of Salvation Army Ballarat Communtiy Church building.
Salvation Army thrift shops are now closed and are not receiving donations of goods.
Donations of fresh fruit and vegetables and in date staple foods like pasta, pasta sauce, long-life milk, rice, sugar, margarine and tinned items can be dropped to the Salvation Army at 103 Eureka Street Ballarat between 9am and 2.30pm.
Mr Clonan said the donations will then be distributed between all Ballarat welfare agencies including Anglicare and Uniting.
"It is being kind to one another that makes up a community," he said.
"We share what we have around and I think it is a fantastic thing people can help others with in these difficult times. It gives us a greater sense of community."
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