As The Carevan Foundation seeks more volunteers for its meal services, a winter appeal is happening to collect goods.
The Foundation has joined with West End Plaza to create a collection point outside of Kmart for blankets, socks, non-perishable food items and toiletries, particularly men's toiletries.
Director Jacqui Partington said volunteers were preparing to open up meal services to large groups once more after working with tighter restrictions under COVID-19 public health orders.
"We are in desperate need of teams of volunteers to support this," she said.
"Every little bit of service counts and we are deeply grateful for all those in our community who are able to support the work of Carevan, and by doing so supporting the vulnerable in our local community.
"We'll put them on a roster once a month for two hours, where they come and serve a meal and join in conversation.
"We just want people to turn up with a smile."
The van visits four locations in Albury, Wodonga and Lavington and Ms Partington said a usual Winter spike would be compounded by COVID-19.
"Over the past few months, we have seen a significant increase in the demand for our services as government economic stimulus packages reduced," she said.
The winter appeal came about through a conversation between West End Plaza marketing manager Nicole Singh and Carevan project officer Leanne Johnson.
"I had a conversation with Leanne one day and suggested we could help," Ms Singh said.
"We've previously done a Christmas hamper appeal with Caravan, but this is the first winter appeal.
"It was planned for last year but with COVID, it couldn't happen.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"Carevan looks after our community and coming into Winter, it can be a hard time for those in need."
Ms Partington said for the people supported by Carevan, the appeal was more about social support than the goods received.
"Increasing school attendance (and) increasing connectedness to community and support services ... are areas in which we strive to have an impact," she said.
The winter appeal will run until the end of the month.
Those interested in volunteering will need a national police check and can register via The Carevan Foundation Facebook or website.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.