Through your 2015 Feed Geelong donations UnitingCare Geelong was able to improve access to fruit and vegetables for its clients at its Grovedale site.
UnitingCare Geelong provides Emergency Relief food and clothing, Bill Assist, Homeless support, Education support, and a No interest loans program. UnitingCare Geelong received a $5,000 Feed Geelong Grant to upgrade their food room to include a preparation and washing area for fruits and vegetables.
The project was designed to benefit all UnitingCare Geelong clients who access fruit and vegetables from the Grovedale food room. While UnitingCare Geelong receives significant quantities of donated fresh fruit and vegetables from Uniting Church congregations in the general community and SecondBite, these fruit and vegetable items usually have to be washed, trimmed and prepared by volunteers so they can be accessed by clients.
Approximately 1,000 clients accessed fruit and vegetables washed and prepared using the new facilities in the food room in 2015-16. These clients came from central, eastern and southern Geelong, were about 40% are male, 60% female and 70% were under 40 years of age and 30% over 40 years of age.
The improved infrastructure has also freed up volunteers to spend more time assisting clients with their food selection, as previously preparation took place outside of the food room.
The importance of improved access to nutritious food like food and vegetables cannot be underscored Individuals experiencing disadvantage have an increased risk of chronic disease, they are more likely to be overweight or obese, have heart disease or type 2 diabetes. UnitingCare Geelong supports some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community through its food room. As a result it is important to provide the best food possible to improve their physical health.