Community inclusion and food relief - coronavirus (COVID-19)

View advice about community inclusion and food relief during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

COVIDSafe Settings are now in place across Victoria.

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Community food relief

The Victorian Government is providing additional support to community food relief agencies to meet increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. 

For more information and updates, visit Community food relief website.

Food Relief Taskforce 

The Food Relief Taskforce has been established to provide advice to government on strengthening and enhancing Victoria’s food relief system.

For more information and updates, visit the Food Relief Taskforce website

Victorian neighbourhood house sector guidance

The neighbourhood house sector provides services to many vulnerable Victorians. People who are disadvantaged or vulnerable may be especially impacted by the current pandemic due to their lack of personal, social and financial resources.

Volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Volunteers willingly dedicate their time for the common good and without financial gain. A strong volunteering culture improves outcomes for people, communities and the environment, supports the delivery of services and improves mental health and wellbeing for volunteers themselves.

  • Information for current and prospective volunteers about how to support the community and stay safe is available on the Volunteer.vic website.

Extreme Hardship Support Program

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) has extended the Extreme Hardship Support Program to October 2021.

DFFH has funded Red Cross to deliver an Extreme Hardship Support Program to provide financial assistance, information and referrals to Victorians who are experiencing significant hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but who do not have access to Commonwealth income support (including JobSeeker and the Temporary COVID Disaster Payment). 

The program provides support to the most vulnerable temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants who have zero or very limited income, savings or community support. All international students experiencing extreme financial hardship are also eligible to apply, even if they had previously received assistance through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

To be eligible for the program people must

  • live in Victoria, and
  • not receive income from the Commonwealth (such as JobSeeker or the Temporary COVID Disaster Payment), and
  • have zero or very limited income, savings or community support, and
  • be a temporary or provisional visa holder, or an undocumented migrant.

Applicants apply through a portal on the Red Cross website, or a dedicated phone line 1800 855 240​.

Read the COVID-19 Extreme Hardship Support Program frequently asked questions for the Victorian community (Word).