Northpoint Centre Food Pantry
Northpoint Centre was established in Tullamarine (Vic) in 2002 by Pastor Loren Pratt after having many instances where people would come to him seeking his assistance with urgent food relief. Generally, these were sick and elderly people whose pensions could not cover daily living expenses, as well as single parents on Government benefits who were trying to raise a young family.
By word of mouth it quietly grew to the point where, in January 2016, Northpoint Centre were providing over 450 food parcels per week. Today in 2017, Northpoint regularly provide over 1200 food parcels each week in an orderly and well managed manner across 7 distribution points such as Melton South, Craigieburn, Coolaroo, Hidden Creek, Preston, Sunshine and Sunbury.
The Centre is supported by a large group of volunteers, as well as workers through the Federal Government work-for-the-dole programme. Over 80 dedicated volunteers pickup, sort, pack and distribute fresh fruit, vegetable, yoghurt, bread and cereals as well a frozen meals and pastries.
In order to be eligible for a food parcel, recipients must produce a current Centrelink Health Care card or a current Australian Government issued Immigration Card.
Northpoint Centre applied for a grant of $1,578 to purchase two chest freezers to replace a large but broken chest freezer as well as the 17 domestic fridges currently in use (for their freezer capacity).
New freezers will enable Northpoint Centre to take on additional frozen ready-to-eat meals that are provided by Fareshare as well as support the Long Table Dinner which are held at their premises each fortnight. The Long Table Dinner provides an opportunity for those in the community who are not able to cook for themselves to come and enjoy a cooked meal, form new friendships and reduce their social isolation.
The acquisition of new freezers will also enable Northpoint Centre to increase its support for over 25 other charities and Not For Profits with their food programmes.
After considerable discussion UCF Directors awarded the grant of $1,578 to Northpoint Centre, aware that the freezer acquisition will enable them to more easily provide food security to those in need, as well as support other not-for-profit Food Relief Programmes which look to them for help.