• Kiwanis ASPAC Best Service Project Competition – Australia District
  • Australia District’s entry for ASPAC 2021 is the Kiwanis Geelong Annual Food Relief Program.
  • The Club that has undertaken this project is the Kiwanis Club of Geelong (K06973), currently with a membership of 34.

This project has been conducted in various forms since 1991, including in the past year during the period of the Covid Pandemic. Its purpose is to provide food supplies to members of the Geelong community in need of assistance through a number of local charities, welfare agencies and food pantries, set up specifically for the distribution of donated items, or the provision of cooked meals at their locations.

During the project this year, which was conducted principally during the global Pandemic, it is estimated that 1000 people were directly assisted. This number was made up of many children, families, people living with disabilities, single adults and senior citizens.

The Project began to provide emergency food supplies when the community was adversely affected by collapse of a local Bank and Mortgage provider. Geelong Kiwanis continue to fund and operate this project, supplying food to members of the local community, who are going through hard times as a result of downturns in the economy, more so this past year with Covid-19, which has caused job losses and downturn in income. Families, single parent families, youth, seniors and the unemployed are currently under severe stress. With the support of several local welfare agencies, all those who require a helping hand through these pandemic times are getting the help they need.

The Kiwanis partnership with various charities, welfare agencies and food pantries, identifies and ensures that those in most desperate need, including the homeless and unemployed are reached first. The welfare agencies help out by distributing the food supplied by the Kiwanis Geelong Annual Food Relief Program, by using their specifi c knowledge of the personal requirements of those in need in their local areas.

The majority of members of the Kiwanis Club of Geelong take part, according to their ability to assist physically or administratively during the planning and execution phases, and especially in fundraising activities to cover the cost of the Project.

The Food Relief Program is promoted through their Facebook page, email and local newspapers. Agencies assisting in partnership for the distribution include the following: Geelong Food Relief, St Vincent De Paul, St Marys Pantry, Christ Church Breakfast Program and the Uniting Care Barwon Region.

Relief, St Vincent De Paul, St Marys Pantry, Christ Church Breakfast Program and the Uniting Care Barwon Region. Kiwanis Geelong contact the Welfare Agencies each year and provide them with order forms for food and other supplies available from SPC, a Victorian-based food processing company, which specialises in canned fruit and vegetables. We are able at a discount price, to provide the agencies with additional food purchases, saving them significant cost to have items all year through. The food is delivered to warehousing for distribution arranged by Kiwanis Geelong, at which time the local newspaper is contacted with details of the project and photographs resulting in published articles.

These five agencies are serving up to 10,000 families in the Geelong area. Kiwanis Geelong arrange the ordering and transport of food from SPC to Geelong. SPC are located in Shepparton, approximately 260 km from Geelong. Each agency collects their own orders from our central distribution point. In the early years of the project Geelong Members used their personal cars and trailers to pick up from SPC and deliver the food ordered. As the program became too big for this method to continue, Ford Australia was approached for help. They in turn were willing to assist and supplied an 18-wheeler truck with driver to travel from Geelong to Shepparton and return, to pick up food and deliver to a warehouse. After Ford Australia’s closure in recent years, other trucking companies have stepped in to provide cheaper transport, including Hick’s Transport in Shepparton who we use today. Over the years several logistics companies have come on board to provide transport, warehouse and distribution facilities to help run the Program.

Geelong Kiwanis raises significant funds to support this project and it’s estimated the cost to Geelong Kiwanis over the nearly 30 years of this project has been between $A250,000 and $A300,000, with additional “goods in kind” support in excess of another $60,000 – a significant total. The Project cost each year has grown with purchases and “goods in kind” for 2021 estimated at about $A20,000 to $A25,000.

Well done to Geelong Kiwanis who won the Best Service Project Award at this year’s eASPAC. A smaller article on their Food Relief Program featured in AK a couple issues ago, but having just won this signifi cant Award, Geelong deserves this 2-page feature, which was as submitted to Convention, with slight re-wording to cater for Australian readership.


Source: Official Newsletter of KIWANIS AUSTRALIA DISTRICT JUNE 2021