By Steph McNicol

THE generosity of the community overwhelmed organisers of Food 4 Thought as they were able to put together 72 care packages for vulnerable people in the Mitchell Shire.

Organisers Julie Trimble, Belinda Bryant, Tamie Sullivan and Susan Eager had planned to complete the Oxfam Trailwalker this weekend, a 100-kilometre trek to raise money to diminish poverty, but the event was cancelled to reduce the COVID-19 outbreak.

The quick-thinking ‘Walkaholics’ decided to organise a Food 4 Thought event on Facebook in the middle of last week dedicated to gathering essential groceries for vulnerable people, and within three days had more than 400 people join the group eager to contribute.

Ms Trimble said she was overwhelmed by the community support.

“We had people who are worried about their own lives and filling their own cupboards, but who were putting so much thought into what they were donating,” she said.

“We easily had over 100 people attend between 8am and 2pm, all of them donating essentials like toothpaste, soaps, nappies and wipes, all essential products for people who can’t leave their homes.

“The amount of thought people were putting into these donations, not just donating products from their pantry with distant expiration dates, but quality products people needed.”

Food 4 Thought liaised with Wallan-Kilmore RSL, Broadford and Seymour Salvation Army and Seymour Lions Club’s ‘Lions Link’ to ensure the vulnerable people of the community had their needs met.

Along with the essential needs in each care package, vulnerable community members will receive a little letter from the Food 4 Thought group to remind them they are cared about.

“The packages aren’t just about the content, but also the message surrounding it which is that ‘people care about you and you’re not alone’,” Ms Trimble said.

“For something that started a week ago, the response we’ve had is incredible and people have been so generous.”