ANNE Pascoe does not take volunteering lightly.
This article was first published in the 15 August 2014 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
The Warragul resident dedicates over 40 hours a week to running the Baw Baw Combined Churches Emergency Relief service.
Operating out of a Pearse Street warehouse, the group assists people experiencing difficulties providing their family with food and only requests a $7 donation per visit to assist with overheads in return.
People can use the BBCCER up to eight times per year, after which they are required to undertake a budget review before recieving any more food.
Last month the group celebrated its 13th birthday.
Anne started volunteering with BBCCER as a helper, but quickly ended up running the group.
“This is my eighth year of running food relief,” Ms Pascoe told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“We started off in a shed at the back of the Tarwin Street church. We found it was getting too small, so I made a bigger area for food relief. But of course the church was packing everything up every day we were operating.
“We were only operating one day a week… then after two or three years we started operating two days a week, and then three days a week, and the church couldn’t handle us.
“So we found these premises… last year in October. Now we’ve expanded to be even bigger!”
A number of local groups helped with the move to the new premises, which also feature a public opportunity shop.
People are often introduced to the food bank through a referral from Centrelink or another local assistance provider.
“We put an order in to Food Bank Victoria every fortnight, we of course pay for that which is why we ask for a donation,” Anne said.
“We also ask schools for can dri-ves, we ask for donations of food.”
Anne also has a long history of volunteering and serving the community outside of the BBCCER, and has been recognised for her contributions a number of times.
She was a nominee for the 2012 Victorian Honour Roll of Women, a recipient of the 2011 Baw
Baw Shire Australia Day Medallion and was a torch bearer for the Sydney 2000 olympics.
The BBCCER is based at Factory 17/11 Pearse Street, Warragul.
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