Ryan throws support behind Rushworth foodbank
25 February 2021
Member for Euroa and Nationals’ deputy leader Steph Ryan has thrown her support behind the Rushworth community’s effort to establish a local foodbank.
Ms Ryan was in Rushworth today to meet with Rushworth Community House Manager Anita Pirie and Waranga councillor Adrian Weston about the proposed foodbank.
The meeting comes after Ms Ryan raised her concerns in Parliament last week about the Andrews Government’s failure to support the community’s vision.
“In the 12 months before COVID, one in four Rushworth households ran out of food,” Ms Ryan said.
“This food bank will be an important safety net to assist those who are doing it tough.
“The snap lockdowns enacted by the government following community transmission of COVID-19 has caused great hardship for locals.
“The community applied for funding last October through the Community Food Relief Fund, which provided one-off grants of up to $75,000 to help local community organisations provide food to people in need.
“Disappointingly, the Andrews Government did not approve the community’s request for funding.”
Ms Ryan said the decision was surprising, considering council had approached the community directly about setting up the foodbank.
“The community house was approached by council last year to establish a food bank because they believed Rushworth had the greatest need.
“Despite this, the government allocated $15,000 to the Kyabram Community and Learning Centre to assist the Kyabram district while overlooking Rushworth’s application.
“With JobKeeper set to expire next month, I am concerned that the need for these services is going to grow.”
Mrs Pirie thanked Ms Ryan for her support, noting the real disappointment felt within the community when Rushworth was overlooked for a Community Food Relief Fund grant.
“The news was very worrying, especially as we had already had numerous requests for food assistance over the past twelve months and the situation is predicted to worsen at the end of March.
“In the meantime, we are very grateful to the Shire of Campaspe for helping us establish a scaled-back foodbank which we will run for the next twelve months. We hope that it will help our community members who – from time to time – find themselves in genuine need,” Mrs Pirie said.
Photo caption: Campaspe Shire Councillor Adrian Weston, Rushworth Community House Coordinator Anita Pirie with Nationals Member for Euroa, Steph Ryan.