Working with more than 50 organisations across the northern region of Melbourne, Encompass Care focuses on helping disadvantaged people get back on their feet during tough times.
Gianna Donato, Chief Operations Officer, has worked at Encompass Care for seven years and says her role is diverse and no day is ever the same.
“You never know what situation you are going to encounter, it ranges from ordering food, to doing intake interviews, running a session for Community Café, attending meetings, volunteer training and more.”
Encompass Care currently runs a food crisis referral on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and feeds the community for a morning tea and lunch every Tuesday through the onsite Community Café. Through these programs, they are currently providing food relief to around 550 people each week.
They also work with three local schools to help feed more than 400 students a week. Through a program called Unicare, they provide study packs with snacks, and sometimes hot soup, to international students at a nearby university.
Last week Encompass Care held their annual Christmas Luncheon, which saw around 180 of their guests attending.
“The luncheon is a wonderful time for our guests to gather and be treated with a beautiful warm Christmas lunch. We love to spoil our guests and make them feel special, they also get a Christmas hamper after the event to take away. It’s about giving people a chance to have a bit of joy,” said Gianna.
When asked what is on the cards for the year ahead, Gianna said:
“Working with an amazing team of volunteers, helping more individuals and being a part of people’s story so they move forward and find hope. We look forward to having a greater impact on our local community. There are so many things we are still yet to do for our community.”
Visit the Encompass Care Facebook page to find out more.
Image (left to right): Gianna, Brien from Foodbank, volunteer Tuli, and Kate from Foodbank, at the Christmas Luncheon.