The number of local individuals and families facing financial hardship is increasing according to Food Relief figures.
For the first six months of this year, 50 more families sought assistance through the Baw Baw Combined Churches Food Relief than the same period last year.
The growing demand is not something Food Relief manager Anne Pascoe wants to welcome, but she is thankful the support service is available to so many needy and vulnerable families.
Food Relief provides food aid and support for families and individuals in need.
There is no judgement and very few questions asked. But sadly, Ms Pascoe said, numbers were increasing.
More than 520 families or individuals have already sought assistance during the first six months of this year, compared to 470 in the same period last year.
Over the past three years since 2014, there has been a steady increase in clients – from 547 in 2014, 630 in 2015; and, 713 in 2016.
The pantry shelves are always full and Ms Pascoe, fellow manager Trish Addison and a team of volunteers are on hand to help their clients fill a trolley and listen to their stories.
“There are a lot of sad stories…and everyone’s story is most important to them,” Ms Addison said.