On Saturday, July 4, premier Daniel Andrews announced a “hard lockdown” for five days on nine housing estates in the suburbs of Flemington and North Melbourne. The lockdown was immediate, meaning many families who reside in the towers didn’t have time to gather essential supplies for the following days.
The Victorian government has begun distributing food, essential supplies and activity boxes but many Victorians are wondering how else we can support these families and individuals.
North Melbourne-based AMSSA (Australian Muslim Social Services Agency) is asking for donations of PPE equipment (masks, gloves, hand sanitiser), food (preferably uncooked), baby products (nappies, wipes, baby formula, baby food), sanitary pads, medication (Panadol, Nurofen, Ventolin inhalers) and toilet paper. You can drop off your donations at AMSSA Centre at 91-101 Boundary Road in North Melbourne. For more information (and drop off times) head to their Facebook and Instagram pages.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has teamed up with the Victorian Trades Hall Council to help families in lockdown. The centre’s catering social enterprise ASRC Catering will be delivering thousands of meals to the towers alongside the Moving Feast network emergency response. Kon Karapanagiotidis, CEO of the ASRC, has said the meals will be “culturally inclusive, appropriate and nutritious,” and be something “these communities deserve.” You can support the ASRC anytime by donating funds or supplies here.
Ahmed Dini of the Ubuntu Project has set up a resident-approved fundraiser to get families the things they urgently need right now. The goal is to raise $15,000 which will be spent on food, baby items, hygiene supplies, petrol vouchers and mental health support.
The Venny is a free communal backyard and adventure playground for children in JJ Holland Park in Kensington. The Venny usually runs play sessions for children but under lockdown, the organisation has begun doing online programs on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for local youths. They're also organising food drop-offs with items from Venny garden as well as basics. Head to the website to donate or help out.
The Sikh Volunteers Australia were some of the first people on the ground at these towers offering free hot meals to residents. The organisation is now eligible to accept charitable donations and you can donate here.
There’s also the option to donate to a fundraiser set up by Victorian Trades Hall Council who will be donating 100 per cent of the funds to the residents. The council announced on its Facebook page that the funds will be disbursed “in consultation with the Victorian Multicultural Commission, community groups and residents, and their representative associations and in consultation with community services support, and the government.”
You can also donate to Foodbank Victoria, who are delivering food and personal care hampers to those in the towers. As of Sunday, July 5, the organisation has delivered 1600 hampers to the families in hard lockdown.