We are expanding the Melbourne Food Hub and, with our key partners, establishing the Cardinia Community Food Hub!
This project builds on success, reputation, profile and partnerships of the Melbourne Food Hub and the award-winning Cardinia Food Circles initiative (two leading projects of Sustain: The Australian Food Network)
Kicking off in March, the two food hubs, in collaboration with the established Baw Baw Food Hub, will:
- source produce directly from up to 40-50 local small to medium scale (seasonal) producers, many of whom have been impacted by the COVID19 restrictions
- aggregate and market that produce;
- and pack and deliver fresh and healthy food to homes and institutions
The produce will reach an estimated 300 households and 25 businesses and institutions in the Baw Baw-Cardinia-Casey-Yarra Valley-Dandenong region, as well as the inner metro region serviced by the Melbourne Food Hub (Alphington, Fairfield, Clifton Hill, Northcote, Thornbury, Brunswick, Preston, Ivanhoe, Reservoir, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Balwyn, Kew, Footscray).
In addition to the social, community and economic benefits that flow from the distribution of fresh and healthy local food, this initiative will also build on and expand the food security and food justice work that Sustain has been carrying out via the Melbourne Food Hub.
This work commenced with a small grant from the Moving Feast collective in the first Melbourne lockdown last year, and is continuing in 2021 with support from the Sisters of Charity and the City of Darebin, as well as through the Working for Victoria Fund. Working with local producers who have surplus produce, we anticipate being able to source in excess of 3000 kgs over the six months of the funded project. This produce will be made available to hundreds of local households through prepared meals and food relief hampers through our partnerships with local food relief providers in the respective municipal areas, as well as thousands more through the Lentil as Anything Pay as You Feel network people in need.
This element of the initiative will make a substantial contribution to food security efforts at a time of heightened need amongst growing sectors of the Melbourne community. Consistent with our long-term partnership with Cardinia Shire Council and other partners involved in the Cardinia Food Circles project, this initiative will be delivered as a Collective Impact project, with Sustain as the anchor or backbone organisation, working together with vocational youth training organisation HopeWorks Community Solutions, Baw Baw Food Hub, Cardinia Shire Council, and multiple other key partners around a shared vision for change to achieve powerful results. The work closely aligns with our long-standing role as the joint backbone organisation in the Cardinia Food Circles project, and will be further reinforced by the establishment of a Cardinia Youth Food Security Network, working collaboratively with staff and students from four local secondary schools, via a grant from VicHealth.
This project is funded by Working for Victoria, a Victorian government COVID-19 recovery program.