Coronavirus Update

COVID response statement - July 2022

Hi friends,

We hope you are all well and safe at these uncertain times.
We appreciate that for many of our friends these are difficult times, and it is natural to feel anxious and concerned.

As our government continues to implement restrictions in place  in order to slow down the spread of Covid-19 in high risk communities, we recognise more than ever the vulnerability of those we care for and support at Foothills Community Care.

Foothills Community Care wanted to update you about our work during this challenging time. 

We are regarded as an essential service and will continue to operate for as long as we can, as safely as we can in order to continue to provide necessary support to the most vulnerable and isolated within our community at this time.

We have put in place a plan for staff, volunteers, our guests and all we work alongside to continue to offer our programs in safe places for all. Please see specific information below.

As a local charity, we exist to support vulnerable people and at these times, we want to be marked as treating people with dignity, respect and with compassion.

In the past 12 months we have distributed 43,750+  meals to locals in need of an extra hand up in these difficult times through our Community Meals and Community Casseroles. A huge increase from what we would have normally done. Since 2020, when restrictions commenced, the demands on our services have skyrocketed and we are proud to still be meeting the needs of our community.

Our Monday night Upwey Community Meal  and our Wednesday night Ferntree Gully Community Meal  will continue to operate on an altered model. 

We are able to offer  indoor dining in our dining hall, and will continue to offer either dine in or take-away options for people who attend.

We are also still providing access to fresh fruit and vegetables and non perishables  where possible to our guests.

Both of these takeaway meals are open to anyone. Meals will be served from 5-6pm. We operate a ticketed system, people can arrive from 4pm and receive a number to receive your meal and car package from 5pm

Our Community Casseroles, home cooked delivered meals have experienced a sharp increase of demand. We are committed to providing people who are home isolating and cannot access basic necessities with prepared frozen meals delivered to the home. 

Many of these meals we prepare ourselves and we have been fortunate to partner with many local businesses who are providing healthy, nutritious meals. 

Meals and support can be requested via our online form

Our Dandenong Ranges Domestic Violence Peer Support Group is able to offer a weekly meet ups online, for local women in need of some extra support at the moment. Any woman in need of support can register to join our meetings and other practical support such as meals and care packages.

Our hospitality and barista training  is currently on hold as we continue to assess the situation. 

Everyone – businesses, organisations, charities – continue to struggle at the moment to keep going. It is at this time that we need your support so we can continue to provide hospitality for those experiencing homelessness, family violence, poverty, food insecurities, addiction and isolation.

To make a tax deductible donation to help us continue to support others, please visit our donations page here.

To get the most update information please visit the Victorian State government COVID webpage 

To view our Foothills Covid Safe Plan, please click here

These are unprecedented times. Let’s remember to be kind and generous to each other. Check in on your elderly neighbor, call your family and friends, cook that meal, take only what you need at the shops, surprise strangers with acts of random kindness and donate to us. Never underestimate the difference you can make in someone else’s life as we care for each other.

Warm regards,

Stephen Barrington
Foothills Community Care

Guidelines for guests and volunteers

For our Upwey and Ferntree Gully Meal Night guests, in order to continue to provide our hot takeaway meals for as long as we can, please follow the following guidelines :

  • Please do not come before 4pm.
  • We operate on a ticket system, you will be given a ticket when you arrive to access our fresh food packages and hot meals via our volunteers.
  • Meals and care packages will be available from approximately 5-6pm
  • Please respect each person and practise social distance where practical.
  • Please do not gather outside the door.
  • If you are sick, please DO NOT come.
  • If you are awaiting the outcome of a COVID test, DO NOT come.
  • Please only take what you need, and consider others.
  • It is recommended you wear a properly fitted mask at all times when inside the building.
  • Please use the hand sanitizer provided every time you enter the dining hall.
  • Smoking must not happen within 4 metres of our doorway, as per government regulations
  • We will offer dining facilities for our guests of an unknown vaccination status as an Essential Service


For our Upwey and Ferntree Gully Meal Night & Community Casseroles cooking volunteers, we have the following guidelines:

  • If you are unwell, please stay at home and let us know as soon as possible,
  • If you are awaiting the outcome of a COVID test, DO NOT come.
  • Please respect each person and practice social distance where practical.
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds each time.
  • We will provide hand sanitizer and gloves 
  • As an essential service, we will continue to operate to provide meals and care packages as safely as we can while following the Government compliance regulation
  • It is recommended you wear a properly fitted mask at all times when inside the building.