Community opens heart and shows it cares
GV Cares, which has been leading the community relief effort, believes it is now on top of the immediate crisis that left quarantining families desperate for basic supplies.
Lisa McKenzie, executive director of the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project which launched the GV Cares initiative, said the community and businesses rallied to deliver thousands of care packages in recent days.
“We have been inundated with offers of support, volunteers and donations, it has been an incredibly heart-warming experience,” Ms McKenzie said.
“We have been able to use a lot of local expertise to move swiftly and respond.”
While there is likely to be another peak before isolating families start to be released from mandatory quarantine, Cr Rob Priestly, who has been leading the warehousing and distribution effort, said there were ample supplies of goods and people power.
“We are getting through it, we have an awesome team,” he said.
“It is complex to go from an empty building with no power to a functioning distribution centre, it is on a huge scale and the importance is really pressing because people are home isolating, we have to meet the needs they have.”
Twelve-hundred boxes were delivered on Saturday alone.
With their Shepparton and Mooroopna supermarkets struggling because of the loss of staff to quarantine Coles and Woolworths made substantial donations to support the relief effort.
Woolworths delivered 21 pellets of stock to GV Cares.
“We know it’s an anxious time in Shepparton and we’re doing all we can with the Victorian Government and local authorities to increase our capacity to serve the local community,” Woolworths Shepparton operations manager Sarah O’Sullivan said.
“We’ve made a donation of 1188 cartons of essential products, including long-life milk, rice and pasta to the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project.”
Coles sent two semitrailers full of groceries from Melbourne to FoodShare in Shepparton, donating 46 pallets of chilled and ambient products including staples, such as butter, milk, eggs, meat, fruit, vegetables and grocery essentials.
“We know Shepparton residents are experiencing unprecedented times as a result of COVID-19 so we wanted to provide urgent support,” Coles regional manager Stuart Porter said.