Braybrook and Maidstone Neighbourhood House Inc. (BMNH)

 

Braybrook and Maidstone Neighbourhood House Inc. (BMNH) is a food relief agency based in Victoria, that has been partnering with SecondBite for more than five years. By providing community meals, ready-to-eat take home meals, food hampers and pantry services, they are a lifeline to people from all backgrounds in the community who are experiencing food insecurity, often alongside other challenges.

 

In FY19/20, SecondBite provided over 26,000 kilos of food to BMHN, free to charge, to support their programs. When asked to describe the value of SecondBite’s food distribution to their food relief programs, Vivienne, the Manager at BMNH, put it this way:

“It’s everything. Without them we would not have the program – it wouldn’t exist. They deliver to us each week which is fantastic as we don’t have vans or trucks to pick up. Without SecondBite our families would go hugry and would be under more of a stress then they already are.”

BMNH and the people they support experience significant positive impacts through their partnership with SecondBite. The team at BMNH identified the following benefits:

  1. Provide our community with fruit and vegetables
  2. See families eating much healthier foods, which gives them much better health and wellbeing in their lives
  3. More time to spend on the program by not having to go to pick up food as most of the volunteers don’t drive.

 

Pauline is a food relief recipient at BMNH. Thinkig about the impact of the support she receives, she shared:

“BMNH is a non-judgmental, kind community service, [allowing] me to feel welcome, not judged…I feel respected, I feel like I am getting a gift every week of my ‘surprise box’ which contains fruit and vegetables. Thanks to SecondBite I have tried leeks, eggplant, different types of small tomatoes…So thank you to BMNH and thank you to everyone at SecondBite. I am starting to live life instead of existing.”

The food SecondBite provides, free of charge, supports positive outcomes for food relief agencies like BMNH, and for the people in need that they help.

Access to safe, nutritious food meets an immediate need – hunger – but it also enables social connection with people in vulnerable situations, supports health and wellbeing of families, and frees up an agency’s resources to provide greater support.

In looking after one of people’s most basic needs – food – we help provide an opportunity to people, as Pauline expressed it, “to live life instead of existing”.