Shepparton News

Echuca-Moama rallies for Shepparton

- By Anna McGuinness

The Echuca-Moama community has rallied behind Shepparton residents during the biggest COVID-19 outbreak it’s seen so far, with a huge food donation drive led by a Moama butcher.

About a third of Shepparton’s population has been in isolation thanks to a long list of exposure sites, which included many large, local schools.

Noel’s Quality Meats Moama co-owner Sari Batson put a call out on the business’ Facebook page last week for food and household items after hearing about the dire situation in Shepparton.

‘‘I found out my sister was going to have to isolate and was struggling to get groceries; she wanted me to get click and collect for her because it was all full in Shepparton and Mooroopna,’’ Ms Batson said.

‘‘She’s a prostate cancer nurse and is home with four kids and her husband.

‘‘I thought, that really sucks that no-one had time to get anything — they were just thrown straight into chaos.’’

After putting up Facebook post, Ms Batson was contacted by GV Cares — an initiative of multiple organisati­ons in Shepparton in response to the latest outbreak.

The result was more than 100 bags and 30 to 40 boxes of food and goods, which meant Ms Batson’s original plan to have them dropped off by someone who offered in their car, was not going to be enough.

‘‘A friend of mine contacted their friend who’s a freight driver and goes to Shepparton every day, so we organised to load the truck up and he took them over for us,’’ she said.

From Echuca-Moama’s donation, GV Cares distribute­d 36 care packages to households in need — that did not even include the nappies and formula that will be directed to suitable homes.

While she was surprised by the sheer amount of donations made, Ms Batson said she was not surprised by the display of generosity.

‘‘The Echuca-Moama community has just done an amazing job and it goes to show when there are people in need they get in and help out,’’ she said.

‘‘We wanted it to be nonperisha­ble so it could go to a foodbank and we weren’t accepting any cash, but there was one bag that had $450 worth of Coles vouchers.

‘‘There’s a lot of people here struggling right now and they’re still thinking of others; it’s hard times.’’

By Monday, there was another 100 bags full and ready to go to Shepparton.

● Donations can be dropped off at Noel’s Quality Meats, 23 Meninya St, Moama, or in Echuca at Fuzion Cafe, 129 Hare St.

 ?? Picture: Steve Huntley ?? Overwhelmi­ng support: Noel’s Quality Meats co-owner Sari Batson with donations for the Shepparton community.
Picture: Steve Huntley Overwhelmi­ng support: Noel’s Quality Meats co-owner Sari Batson with donations for the Shepparton community.

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