The Give Where You Live Foundation has been delivering an emergency relief voucher program since the Pyramid Building Society collapse in 1990. This crisis decimated savings across Geelong leaving many struggling with debt and financial loss. In response to this increasing need across the region, the Foundation developed the Direct Assistance Voucher Program.

This program, still running today, provides access to basic necessities (like food, material aid, and support for prescriptions) to people experiencing crisis across our region. With the support from the Percy Baxter Foundation, the Foundation distributes around $130,000 annually through this program, supporting over 7,500 people annually.

These vouchers give people in our community access to essentials, like food from the Geelong Food Relief Centre, prescription medications from local partner pharmacies, furniture from Encompass Homestart, and work clothing from Encompass Ready Start. Basically, the stuff we all need, but sometimes take for granted.

In 2021, thanks to the support from the Andrews’ State Government, the Foundation was able to further strengthen and expand this program to what it is now known today, the Community Choice initiative.

Community Choice has evolved the voucher program to create greater choice, diversity, and access to emergency assistance. Ultimately handing that choice and control back to the members of our community who are seeking help.

Through the Community Choice initiative, the Foundation is:

  • Providing a simple and effective emergency relief voucher which supports community members in times of crisis.
  • Creating greater choice, and dignity, for community members seeking help.
  • Increasing diversity and access to food relief, that expands not only the type of food available, but also availability (days, times, delivery).
  • Creating a model of emergency assistance that is widely distributed and provides people with greater options across our region
  • Creating a voucher system that is flexible and scalable to meet community needs during times of crisis.


Click here to view the Community Choice Food Merchant List.


Click here to view the Community Choice Pharmacy List.