Wodonga woman Deanne Day can still remember what came in the first hamper she received from Albury Wodonga FoodShare about a year ago.
"There was dairy, butter, eggs, milk, all the staples," Ms Day said, "sugar, tea, coffee."
"With that hamper I was able to create so many meals."
"I can't thank them enough."
Ms Day moved with her husband and two daughters from Tumbarumba in 2019, after a farm workplace accident left her husband injured.
"We decided to say enough is enough," she said.
"We sold the farm and moved down to Wodonga."
When the pandemic struck last year Ms Day's family found themselves in hard times.
Her youngest daughter was studying at TAFE and while she was doing her course a small flier came round offering FoodShare hampers and deliveries to people in need.
"I was like 'what?' I couldn't believe that someone would actually do that for somebody. And that's how it got started," Ms Day said.
Ms Day called FoodShare and asked for a hamper.
"These people are so lovely. They just made you feel comfortable, no questions asked, 'you need help we're here for you'."
Now a year on, Ms Day and her youngest daughter are both volunteers at the centre on Stead street.
Ms Day has been helping out two days per week for the last six months and her daughter has just completed her first few days of volunteering.
Ms Day said she was inspired to give back to the community and "pay it forward" after she received help from the service.
"It's just a joy in your heart when you know that you've helped somebody out there and they're going home with food."
FoodShare General Manager Peter Matthews said it was fantastic to have the support of volunteers like Ms Day.
"We're able to help her and now she's able to help us back," he said.
"Most of our volunteers have that ethos as well, they just want to help the community they live in."
Mr Matthews said since the reduction of JobSeeker and the end of JobKeeper government help last month, there was a growing demand for food.
"We've already seen this week post Easter, the demand for hampers has gone up dramatically and the food for the agencies has increased as well," he said.
"We're busier than we've ever been.
"We provide up to 200 to 300 hampers per week to the community. We also provide the bulk food for the agencies as well who have their own distribution mechanisms.
"A lot of agencies have closed and they haven't reopened so we're now filling the gaps where they provided the service."
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Ms Day said she'd continue to volunteer as long as there was a need.
"I'll be here as long as I can walk!" she said.
She said without FoodShare's original flier, she would never have known where to get support and she wanted to spread the message to encourage others to get the help they need.
"There is help out there," she said.
"When you've been in that predicament yourself you know how hard it is to actually speak up and ask for help.
"There are probably other families out there that don't want to ask."
She said people struggling shouldn't be ashamed or upset.
"There are other people out there who are the same as you.
"There's no shame in coming to ask people for help."
Ms Day said she appreciated the service, but it did more more than just providing food for people in need.
"It gives you skills working with people," she said.
She said when her daughter had volunteered at FoodShare it had given her confidence and helped her deal with anxiety.
"It gives you a sense of achievement," Ms Day said.
"There are no words to describe what it does to a person's health and wellbeing."
Ms Day said Share The Dignity had also previously teamed up with FoodShare and it made a big difference for her daughters' sense of self when they received a personal hygiene bag from the service.
"It was like Christmas for them, their eyes just welled up," she said.
"Inside one of those Share The Dignity bags there was a note, a hand written note.
"It was just beautiful and heartfelt, so I kept that letter and we've flattened it out and we're going to frame it."
Ms Day said it had been important for her and her family to know someone cared so she was keen to keep the community spirit going around in a full circle.
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