Supporting those in need during COVID-19

All members of our community have been impacted in some way since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation continues to have a profound effect on people’s health and wellbeing, financial situation, mental health and connection to others.

We are continuing to work closely with our partner service providers and community organisations in Boroondara to offer assistance to those
in need. Support services available include emergency relief, such as food and material aid, counselling and help navigating different services.

To date, community organisations have provided 13,000 meals to our vulnerable residents — an average of 650 meals per week. This is a significant increase on the amount of meals being provided before the COVID-19 pandemic, when agencies were, on average, providing 200 meals a week.

The Camberwell Salvation Army’s (Salvos) Hot Meals Program ensures disadvantaged members of the community have access to fresh and
nutritious cooked meals.

“We’ve seen many additional people coming for a free takeaway meal due to the additional hardship they have experienced as a result of COVID-19,” Norman Gale, Salvos Hot Meals Program Lead said.

Boroondara Community Outreach provides meals for rough sleepers and residents in rooming houses who are particularly in need during this time.

Boroondara Community Outreach is a collaborative effort between local suppliers of fresh food, volunteers who cook meals and drop off food, and families from a local school who supply warm clothing and blankets.

Camcare is a not-for-profit organisation, which has been supporting the Boroondara community for 42 years. Along with food and material aid, the team of professionals and volunteers provide wellbeing and support services, information and advice, and practical assistance.

The doors to the Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre were forced to close when COVID-19 suddenly hit. But the otherwise-unused kitchen at the Spare Chair Café has been providing free meals to vulnerable people in the community.

Barbara Ghiani, Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre Manager, said that it’s been great to be able to give back during the crisis by providing essential food to those who are homeless, sleeping rough and in boarding houses, as well as people isolated due to their disability.

“It’s also been really important to keep our usual café operations going, providing takeaway food and coffee, as the profits from the café continue to help vulnerable learners in our community,” Barbara said.

Coronavirus hotline

If you, or someone you know needs help, our Council support team can arrange local emergency relief support or refer people to partner organisations for help.

Contact us for:

  • assistance with food and material aid
  • help due to financial hardship
  • mental health support
  • feeling isolated and would like some support

Call 9278 4444 and press 5 for a member of our support team between 8.30am and 5.15pm. Or email [email protected].