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Echuca community urged to support Vinnies COVID-19 Winter Appeal

By Ivy Jensen

AS THE impact of coronavirus deepens and winter approaches, St Vincent de Paul Society is calling on the Echuca-Moama community to dig deep for the COVID-19 Winter Appeal.

St Vincent de Paul Echuca welfare conference president Kerry McLoughlan said although restrictions had forced the closure of the office, volunteers were still operating remotely.

“We are responding to any emergency calls for help with food and pharmaceuticals,” she said.

“Because of the closure of so many shops, St Vinnies income has been reduced so instead of helping with rent assistance and bills, we’re limiting out help to food and pharmaceuticals, which we can deliver.

“In addition, we’re referring people to FoodBank at Echuca Neighbourhood House where Moama Bowling Club has been donating soup. If people register, they can also have their soup delivered.

“We are also providing people with supermarket vouchers for their food shopping.”

Past president Theresa Jacobs said she expected demand to increase once restrictions were listed.

“In the future it will be quite hectic when we do open again,” she said.

Kerry said she expected to see different kinds of clients by the end of the year.

“At the moment the extra government assistance has helped but we expect the demand for welfare to go up after restrictions are lifted,” she said.

“We’ll see those who are unemployed, homeless and those who are struggling more as the affect of COVID is really felt.”

Kerry said the Vinnies shop in Annesley St was still open seven days a week providing material support.

“The local shop does an amazing job staying open and that helps us indirectly,” she said.

“Any donations we receive through the appeal is most welcome and appreciated.

“We thank everyone for your support during these difficult times.”
Anyone who needs help is encouraged to call the helpline on 131 812.

To donate, visit vinnies.org.au/covid19winterappeal