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Victorian Relief + Foodbank Merger

23 March 2006 at 12:03 pm
Staff Reporter
Victorian Relief and Foodbank Victoria have merged to create a new emergency relief resource centre for Victoria.

Staff Reporter | 23 March 2006 at 12:03 pm


Victorian Relief + Foodbank Merger
23 March 2006 at 12:03 pm

Victorian Relief and Foodbank Victoria have merged to create a new emergency relief resource centre for Victoria.

This month Victorian Relief and Foodbank Victoria merged their business operations to create a new independent legal entity known as VicRelief+Foodbank Ltd or VR+FB.

Joint General Manager of VR+FB, Michael Cannon says the joining of the two organisations creates a more integrated and expanded emergency relief resource centre for the many welfare agencies and community organisations across Victoria, who take care of families and individuals in financial crisis.

The new organisation is using Foodbank Victoria’s existing operations in Yarraville in Melbourne’s west.
Cannon says it’s a combination without compromise! The aim is to supply more food at less cost with more convenience – for both the supermarkets and manufacturers that supply the food as well as the 500 welfare agencies wanting the food.

He says the new organisation expects to save up to 20% on its handling and distribution costs and estimates it will distribute 2 million kilograms of food in the next 12 months.

Cannon says the merger brings together more than 85 years of emergency relief experience and service to the Victorian community and will enable the delivery of a more efficient material aid program – comprising food, household goods, home wares and bedding.

Victorian Relief was set up under an act of Parliament in 1930 to assist those in need during the depression. Cannon’s co-General Manager is Hilary Bolton.
Foodbank Victoria emerged in 1993 with the Rotary Club of Camberwell being one of the main drivers.

A third sister organisation One Umbrella, which obtains supplies from Melbourne restaurants and produces food for mobile relief vans and welfare kitchens, was also asked to join the merger.

However, Acting CEO Martin Cowling says that after the initial discussions, One Umbrella decided to wait.

Cowling says One Umbrella will monitor the merger and see what is the most appropriate direction to take.
Foodbanks’ Michael Cannon admits that the planning phase for the merger was lengthy however he says despite obstacles, the trust between Shirley Martin (Chair of Victorian Relief) and Alan Williams (chair of Foodbank Victoria) focused purely on the end result – a better emergency relief system for Victoria.

The organisation has a new website at

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