Donations from the Ballarat community will fund work to ensure every family has continuous access to nutritious food during times of need.
The Ballarat Foundation has ended its six week Feed Ballarat Appeal campaign with more than $70,000 in donations from the community.
Chief executive Andrew Eales said the response from the community was 'amazing'.
"We really couldn't be more appreciative of those who can give in what is really challenging times who have dug deep and donated to help this important cause," he said.
"It is about alleviating the long-term impacts of food insecurity that have only been heightened by the continual uncertainty that has existed in our community and worldwide."
More than 12 per cent of people in Ballarat rely on community meal and grocery relief programs each year in order to survive.
This pandemic has created a whole new set of circumstances we are trying to deal with and government can't fill all those gaps.Andrew Eales, Ballarat Foundation CEO
Mr Eales said the economic and social upheaval caused by COVID-19 exacerbated this need and caused a significant spike in demand for crisis support.
The Ballarat Foundation will direct Feed Ballarat Appeal funding to areas most in need through a grants process and use funds to respond to need directly as a foundation.
Funding from the appeal allowed the Ballarat Foundation to partner with other organisations and deliver 200 food hampers each fortnight to schools around Ballarat during the pandemic last year.
The Ballarat Foundation announced last week the recipients of this year's grants round, including funding in the area of food security.
Ballarat Community Health was funded to run a program in schools to improve student access to vegetables and Hilltop Church was funded to continue operating the Phoenix College Breakfast Club.
Uniting's Meals for Change received funding to continue its program offering young people experiencing hardship the chance to enjoy a subsidised meal from a cafes.
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Mr Eales said the foundation aimed to fund a diverse range of programs that responded to the immediate need for food relief but also worked in long-term prevention to break cycles of disadvantage.
"We know providing emergency food relief is incredibly important but doesn't actually solve the problems that are the instigators for food insecurity within our community," he said.
"This year we funded Anglicare to run a series of monthly cooking sessions where people can learn skills to reduce their exposure to food insecurity in the future.
"Being able to select foods which are nutritious and then produce those meals, these are things many people take for granted but they are actually skills that have been identified in the community that not everyone has.
"Programs like the cooking sessions are a great way we can support a group to improve those skills and hopefully break cycles of disadvantage."
Mr Eales also referred to multicultural women's social enterprise cafe A Pot of Courage as another funding recipient that provides skills and community connections to help break cycles of disadvantage.
"These are the bigger picture projects I think can make a real difference," he said.
"They are good examples where we utilise the Feed Ballarat funds to try to make that deeper and longer lasting difference within the community."
Mr Eales said the Ballarat Foundation would continue to reach out for community support to address identified areas of need.
"We are constantly identifying there is really significant need. This pandemic has created a whole new set of circumstances we are trying to deal with and government can't fill all those gaps," he said.
"We know it is really tough to keep asking people to give but there is going to be that need still there.
"We certainly encourage people to reach out and have a conversation with us about how they can make a difference."
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