Our aim is to serve people of the Moorabool Shire who are disadvantaged, at risk, or unable temporarily to feed themselves or their family. We do this without prejudice or judgement and happily assist with emergency food and referral information.
Who we are
The Neighbour's Place is a Christian not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to serve people of the Moorabool Shire who are disadvantaged, at risk or temporarily unable to feed themselves or their family and who are in need of emergency food relief. Whilst the majority of clients are Centrelink Card Holders this is not a pre requisite for assistance. However, some form of identification is required.
The Neighbour's Place is an organisation staffed by volunteers and directed by a committee of management made up of volunteers. A volunteer Coordinator, Jackie Tabone, manages the day to day running of the centre and can be contacted in regard to any questions about volunteering. We are located at 77 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh
The Neighbour's Place (TNP), was initiated by the combined churches of Bacchus Marsh on June 17, 1994. The official opening was held on Friday, August 15th, 1994 attended by 40 people. Initially TNP was located at 106 Main Street which has since been demolished.
The original aim was as a social hub, a place for people to come and chat, read, borrow or buy books and receive referrals and friendship. After a temporary closure in 1999 due to financial reasons, TNP was reopened as an emergency foodbank in September 2000 in premises at 21 Gell Street Street, owned by Djerriwah Health Services..
When the premises in Gell Street belonging to Djerriwah Health Services were required to be vacated, once again new premises were sought. A very generous family offered us premises at 77 Main Street on a long term arrangement.
Whilst there were some objections by neighbours to this relocation, eventually these were resolved and TNP Inc. moved to these premises in June 2003.
In July 2012, the property at 77 Main Street was purchased by TNP. This was facilitated by a generous offer by the owners. A small mortgage has been required to be taken out, but ownership of the property also allows for improvements to be made and for grants to be applied for.
Much was learned over the years and now TNP is an established charity in the Moorabool Shire with great community support and committed volunteers, some of whom have been part of the organisation since its inception. Financial support also comes from philanthropic organisations and we receive ongoing support from the local Council.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE?
Anyone who lives in the Moorabool Shire and is struggling financially can come for assistance. An interview will take place to establish the reasons for needing assistance, and appropriate ID is required. No referral or appointment is necessary.
HOW OFTEN CAN I COME?
Assistance is seen as a short term solution, so is limited. However, this assistance can be sought once a fortnight for three months, then once a month for three months. A three month peiod should elapse before assistance is sought again. Each situation is looked at independently and referrals to financial counsellors and other assistance will be offered.
WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS OFFERED?
Whilst we don't carry the expansive choice of a supermarket, we maintain a store of all basic needs including tinned, dry and frozen foods, plus fresh fruit and vegetables. The amount which is given is dependent on the number of household members.
WHERE DOES THE FOOD COME FROM?
We are able to access Foodbank Victoria in Melbourne once a month for a variety of food which has been donated. We pay a small handling fee for this. Otherwise we receive donations of food from local organisations such as schools doing can drives and private individuals. We also receive some food from ALDI locally and we purchase food as required using donated funds.
IS THE NEIGHBOUR'S PLACE GOVERNMENT FUNDED?
We receive some support from local government which is the Moorabool Shire Council but otherwise we depend on churches, community, philanthropic organisations and our own fundraising.