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Paying Christmas Forward

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Paying Christmas Forward

​As reported in the Herald Sun today, Western Health staff have voted to donate their own ‘Christmas lunch’ to Foodbank Victoria, ensuring up to 50,000 extra meals will be provided to needy Victorians this festive season.

COVID-19 restrictions meant the normal Christmas lunches for staff – held every year at Sunshine, Footscray and Williamstown hospitals, as well as Sunbury Day Hospital and Hazeldean Transition Care – cannot be held this year. So management decided to ask Western Health’s 7500 employees how they would like to celebrate.

Staff voted to "pay forward" their meal to Foodbank Victoria, rather than receiving their own meal voucher or packaged lunch.

“Our staff have been on the COVID frontline, working in some of the busiest COVID hospitals in the country, and they know first-hand how tough this pandemic has been for our communities," says Western Health chief executive Russell Harrison.

“We’ve got a fabulous team here at Western Health, so I’m not surprised they chose the option of forgoing their own staff Christmas lunch to help those doing it tough.

“I want to thank and congratulate Foodbank Victoria on the incredible job it does in providing food relief to vulnerable Victorians. We’re proud that Western Health is able to support their efforts in this way this Christmas.”

Foodbank Victoria chief executive Dave McNamara said Western Health’s contribution would enable Foodbank Victoria to provide up to 50,000 meals, or equivalent food supplies.

“Everyone is very excited about the lifting of restrictions, but for Foodbank the real work is just beginning as Victorian families grapple with the economic fall out of this terrible time. It’s amazing that the front line workers at Western Health are still leading the way with this incredible donation, sacrificing themselves and putting others first. 50,000 meals will make a happy Christmas for so many families.”

“It’s very humbling to think that as we start to imagine life getting back to some sort of normal, front line workers at Western Health are still thinking of how they might best help others. 50,000 meals will make a huge difference to our work at Foodbank and so many families struggling to imagine how Christmas might look this year. We can’t thank them enough.”