In late February and early March, the Eyre Peninsula Community Foundation (The Foundation) distributed $19,000 in Back to School Vouchers to students across the Eyre Peninsula (EP).

With an additional sponsorship of $1,000 from the Bendigo Bank – Port Lincoln Branch and funds direct from the Foundation and its funding partner, the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), the original $15,000 partnership funding was increased to $19,000 recognising the particular need for children in areas of drought on the EP.

Since inception in 2009, in partnership with the FRRR, the Foundation has now distributed over $220,000 in Back to School Vouchers in the form of a $50 Target (shopping) Cards to assist families on EP purchase school items such as uniforms, school bags and stationery for their children starting the new school year.

Foundation Chairperson, Mr Garry Downey noted the 2020 program highlighted a much greater need for help with basic school equipment than the support the Foundation program currently provides, however local communities can support their school families by donating specifically to the Back to School Vouchers program, with any funds being matched to double their impact locally above the normal distribution. The Foundation also encourages public donations for this purpose.

Mr Downey also acknowledged the support of School Principals and Governing Councils with the success of the Back to School Program.

Unique on the EP, the Foundation manages a growing base of donated funds with a number of philanthropic partners to support community projects, regional student advancement and home hospice services.

Foundation programs make an important difference to EP communities and individuals, towards the goal of strengthening the region. The Foundation is supported by EP Book Bazaar volunteers and professional administration, and carefully manages its community funds to ensure the best possible value and impact from each of its initiatives.

Please contact Susan at the Foundation on 0400 685 520, or download the donation form from the website at if you would like to assist your community with extra Back to School Vouchers in 2021. Credit card and bank deposit facilities available.

Photo: Rob Donaldson, Garry Downey, Phil Channon (Port Lincoln Bendigo Bank), Margaret Knife and Peter Knife.