300 Blankets to cease Care Package Program after 4 years

Following the successful delivery of the essential items support program, Care Package – for the last 4 years – 300 Blankets will be gradually ceasing the availability of the program in June 2024.

Launched initially as the Iceolation program, the Care Package program was introduced during Melbourne’s COVID lockdowns in partnership with ice hockey team, Melbourne Ice. The program has been facilitated by 300 Blankets volunteers, delivering fortnightly packages of food and material aid to over 130+ households experiencing food insecurity and social isolation. Since its inception in March 2020, 6,370 packages have been delivered by 300 Blankets volunteers, over the course of 99 Saturdays. 


4 years on, 300 Blankets has made the difficult decision to cease the delivery of the Care Package program for a number of reasons:

  • Being able to support vulnerable communities during Melbourne’s lengthy COVID lockdowns was the key reason the program was begun. In the current post-lockdown environment, we can proudly say that we’ve successfully achieved the goals we’d initially established.
  • As many alternative social services outlets are now similarly not affected by lockdown restrictions, we believe that our recipients are better serviced by other services, and that 300 Blankets should return to its primary focus – human connection.
  • Unfortunately with the rising costs of food and other incidentals, 300 Blankets recognises that we can no longer maintain the program financially.
  • By reducing the number of programs 300 Blankets can focus on improving and enhancing its existing Outreach and Soul Kitchen programs to ensure we provide the best support possible to our community in those particular service areas.


With the restrictions of 300 Blankets’ other programs, Outreach and Soul Kitchen (operating in Preston and Braybrook), due to COVID lockdowns, the Care Package program was founded as an alternative way in which we could continue to support vulnerable communities, who had previously been receiving aid and support via our other programs. 

Through our partnership with Melbourne Ice and their connections with the District Docklands, 300 Blankets was able to facilitate the program via our existing volunteer network and raise the necessary funds through both the Melbourne Ice and 300 Blankets generous communities. 

At a time when COVID lockdowns and restrictions were impacting supermarket supply, as well as operationally affecting food supply charities and placing greater demand on them, 300 Blankets saw an opportunity to address some of the service gaps presented via the new program, launching it in March 2020, and making the first deliveries in May 2020. 


To remain true to the broader mission of 300 Blankets, the Care Package program was founded on the basis that it would:

  • Allow us to maintain our well-established connections with people – and communities – in which we operated,
  • Provide food support (food and material aid) to people we had been served through the Soul Kitchen Program,
  • Provide a nutritionally diverse food offering to mirror the quality of the meals provided through the Soul Kitchen Program, and
  • Provide support to other people in our community who were falling through service cracks, whom we had not encountered before.


While the program will cease from June 2024, 300 Blankets is incredibly proud of all that the Care Package program has achieved, including:

  • Care Packages delivered 6,370 (full program life)
  • Households/families served 609
  • Tonnes/kilos delivered 77.5 tonnes
  • Delivery days over 4 years of service 99
  • Number of drivers 495
  • Initially started in the western suburbs, before expanding due to demand into the north and, finally, the east.
  • The program maintained social connections with the community during isolating COVID lockdowns, where sometimes our volunteers were the only people recipients would see during the week.
  • Developing the program with expert advice from a dietician, who designed a nutritionally diverse food package. This made the Care Package program the only food support program to do so, and the only food support program providing eggs, bread and other perishables.
  • With referrals from other charities or service organisations, we were able to support students, migrants and internationals who were not eligible for government support during the pandemic. 
  • The program was run entirely by volunteers, for 4 years. 
  • Able to contribute economically to suppliers, rather than rely on donated goods; and successfully transitioned from one supplier (Woolworths) to multiple local stores (IGA), enabling greater local impact for the community.


Working closely with our recipients and volunteers, steps to cease the program’s offering have already begun. Final deliveries to our largest service route (Melbourne’s west) will continue until final delivery on Saturday, 16 June 2024. All recipients have been communicated with personally, and alternative services referred to ensure ongoing support is maintained. 

300 Blankets will continue to deliver its two other service programs – Outreach and Soul Kitchen – and seek to find new ways of having greater impact across both. 


Any enquiries can be directed to Emma O’Connor, Vice President, via emma.oconnor@300blankets.org.au

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