The establishment of a Foodbank Food Hub in Ceduna will provide support and a "more dignified way to shop" for eligible customers within the region, chief executive officer of Foodbank South Australia Greg Pattinson says.
Work is underway to bring Foodbank to Ceduna, with a site for the future Food Hub obtained on McKenzie Street, at what was once the Mitre 10 store.
Building work inside and outside the premises will begin in the coming weeks - including the painting of the company's distinctive purple colour - with a view to open the store by October.
A local Food Hub coordinator has already been employed.
Hubs are set up to resemble a general store and they encourage people experiencing food insecurity to shop and choose healthy food options.
Mr Pattinson said they had been keeping an eye on Ceduna and had known it was an area of high need.
"We look at all local government areas and Ceduna had always been on our radar," he said.
"BHP, who are one of our sponsors, came to the party last year when COVID first hit and offered funding to get started [on a Ceduna hub]."
Foodbank already has a presence on Eyre Peninsula with a Food Hub and warehouse at Whyalla.
While most of the food will come from Adelaide, Mr Pattinson said any top-up deliveries or quick turnarounds would come from their Whyalla warehouse.
He said a Foodbank Food Hub had the look and feel of a supermarket, but was not open to the general public.
Only people who are referred to Foodbank by a local service, such as Centacare or Red Cross, or by schools, are eligible to shop there, and can receive a voucher or shop with their own money.
"Our pricing model is fruit, vegetables and bread is free, and the rest is by weight, generally at $2 a kilogram, so $20 can give people $120 in retail value," Mr Pattinson said.
"As it is referral only we are not competing with local stores such as Foodland, and don't have the product range.
"The look and feel is like a supermarket and it is a more dignified way to shop."
Foodbank also received $50,000 from the state government as part of the SA Healthy Towns Challenge, which assists projects seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in regional areas.
Mr Pattinson said they were thrilled to receive the funding.
"It allows us to deliver food education programs and basic programs by which people can live more sustainably and learn to cook on a budget."