Rise of Rushworth Community Support

Helping the community: Fonterra operations manager Steve Taylor presents the cheque to Gail Corner (president) and Michele Bailey (treasurer) of Rushworth Community Support.

In the small town of Rushworth, a group of locals is determined to make a difference for those doing it tough.

The Rushworth Opportunity Shop, supported by Campaspe Shire Council and the Community Bank, was established by local residents following the snap lockdowns last year, which caused hardship for many locals, through social isolation and threatening food security.

Rushworth Community Support president Gail Corner says the locals were determined to make this a sustainable service for the community.

“We put our heads together and came up with a plan to re-establish an op shop in the town then use the funds from this to run the Foodbank,” she said.

“So far, it’s been overwhelmingly successful thanks to the generosity of the people of Rushworth in donating their unwanted goods for sale.

“Fonterra has also been incredibly supportive, not only donating $2500 towards the overall running costs, but gifting us two freezers and several medical kits.”

Rushworth Foodbank serves more than 2500 people at the south end of the shire, including the towns of Colbinabbin, Toolleen and Stanhope.

Regional operations manager for northern Victoria Steve Taylor says working with Foodbank is not new for Fonterra; in fact, it has been partnering with Foodbank Australia for over 14 years.

“In Victoria, we’re the fresh milk supplier for Foodbank’s National Milk Program, last year donating 100,000 litres of milk as well as other dairy foods,” he said.

“Organisations like these have a huge impact on people's lives, and we were excited to be involved in one in our region.

“What I love about this initiative is that the whole community is coming together to help each other — it’s what we like to call ‘Doing Good Together’.

“We’re proud to play a small part in the great work that they are doing, and really just helping them, help others.”

So, what can you do to support the Rushworth Foodbank? Next time you’re in Rushworth, call into the op shop at 9 High St — you’re bound to find a treasure or two and your spending will go to a good cause.