Shepparton News

Seeking a ‘forever home’

FOOD RELIEF CHARITY SHEPPARTON FOODSHARE IS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A NEW LONG-TERM HEADQUARTE­RS

- By John Lewis

Shepparton FoodShare is urgently looking for new premises after being told it has to vacate its Mooroopna warehouse by the end of the year.

The Shepparton food relief charity has been operating from a large warehouse at the former SPC Ardmona site behind Young St for the past nine years.

The site is owned by Shepparton packing company Geoffrey Thompson Holdings, which plans to refurbish the facility as a future packing and distributi­on centre.

Shepparton FoodShare board chair Jeremy Rensford thanked Thompsons for its support and said the search was now on for a temporary replacemen­t warehouse, hopefully leading to a permanent site.

‘‘What we are doing is imperative to the health of our community, so it’s really important that we can find a new temporary home and then eventually a permanent home — our forever home,’’ Mr Rensford said.

Geoffrey Thompson Holdings chief executive Geoffrey Thompson said the company was happy to have been able to support FoodShare, but it was now time to improve the site.

‘‘We are pleased this old factory is having a multimilli­on (dollar) makeover and will set the region up to be an internatio­nally competitiv­e fruit growing and packing area,’’ he said.

‘‘We are disappoint­ed that we can’t continue our partnershi­p, and we wish FoodShare all the best for the future.’’

Mr Rensford said FoodShare was now looking for an empty warehouse with, ideally, 1100 to 1500 sq m of space within 10 km of Shepparton and with street access and a safe entrance for daily deliveries via semi-trailers and vans.

‘‘With limited funds, failing finding a suitable warehouse in the coming months we may be forced to close our doors at a time when food insecurity continues to rise and when our community needs our service more than ever,’’ he said.

He said during the current COVID-induced crisis now engulfing Shepparton, FoodShare was lucky to have 29 of its 30 volunteers still able to work, loading and driving delivery vans.

‘‘It’s quite miraculous really and our supplies are good also,’’ Mr Rensford said.

‘‘But we never want to take for granted a position of strength.

‘‘With such a great need in our community, our supplies could disappear pretty quickly.

‘‘So we still require the ongoing generous support of our community.

‘‘You have to be quick on your feet and we’ve been really impressed with what GV Cares is doing.’’

Mr Rensford said Shepparton FoodShare operated through the generous support of the Shepparton and Mooroopna communitie­s, which helped FoodShare provide food to the more than 100 emergency relief agencies, schools, churches and community meals programs in the area.

 ?? Picture: Megan Fisher ?? Searching for a new hub: Shepparton FoodShare board chair Jeremy Rensford is appealing to anyone who can help find the charity new premises by the end of the year.
Picture: Megan Fisher Searching for a new hub: Shepparton FoodShare board chair Jeremy Rensford is appealing to anyone who can help find the charity new premises by the end of the year.

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