Coronavirus Update

COVID 19 Update - July 2020

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, 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.

Over the past few months since restrictions have commenced, the demands on our services have skyrocketed. We have distributed over 10,000 meals in that time.

Our Monday night Upwey Community Meal and our Wednesday night Ferntree Gully Community Meal will continue to operate on an altered model. Unfortunately we are not able to allow our guests into our dining rooms but we will be providing freshly cooked, hot meals in take away containers and will have disposable cutlery available for those that need it.

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, with meals served at 5.30pm. No need to book.

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 video meet up 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. 

At this stage we are uncertain if our 19th annual Ferntree Gully Christmas Day Lunch will go ahead, we will continue to monitor and follow health advice.

Everyone – businesses, organisations, charities – are struggling 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 

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 and called inside in the order of your ticket number from approx 5.30pm for a hot meal and care package.
  • We will ask for first name and contact number for contact tracing purposes, as per government requirements,
  • Please respect each person and keep at least 1.5 meters away from everyone at all times.
  • Please wear a mask
  • All volunteers with direct contact with our guests must wear a face shield that we will provide
  • Please do not gather outside the door.
  • If you are sick, please DO NOT come.
  • Please only take what you need, and consider others.


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,
  • As much as practical we need to maintain 1.5m distance from each other, 
  • All volunteers must wear a mask
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds each time.
  • We will provide hand sanitizer, gloves and disposable masks
  • All volunteers with direct contact with our guests must wear a face shield that we will provide
  • We will ask for first name and contact number for contact tracing purposes, as per government requirements,
  • If you are in a high-risk group, the advice is to stay at home as much as possible.  High-risk groups include people aged 70 years and over, people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50. 
  • If you are in a high-risk group and wish to continue to volunteer with us during this time, you can continue as a meals preparation volunteer only during this time. Unfortunately, we cannot have you in contact with our guests due to your high-risk category. We want to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible.