Local to North East Melbourne
The Community Grocer
The Community Grocer aims to improve access for people living on a low-income to fresh, affordable food. They do this by running weekly fruit and vegetable markets. Everyone is welcome. There are four locations:
- Fitzroy: every Tuesday, from 2-6pm at Atherton Gardens public housing estate, 125 Napier Street.
- Fawkner: every Wednesday, from 9am-12.30pm at the Community Hub, 79-83 Jukes Road.
- Mernda: every Thursday, from 9am-midday at Mernda Central P-12 College, 70 Breadalbane Avenue.
- Carlton: every Friday, from 9am-midday at the public housing estate, 510 Lygon Street.
The Really Really Free Market Preston
The Really Really Free Market Preston is held on the last Sunday of every month, 10am-2pm on the Railway Reserve Bike Path. As its name suggests, everything is completely free – no donation options or anything. It’s a community gathering where participants give away usable items, skills, food, entertainment, games and many others things that a community can come together and share. The market is a 100% free and non-commercial event (no bartering or advertising). It includes movie screenings, bowen therapy, clothes repair (sewing, etc), jewellery repair, bike repair, arts space, mosiac, music, clothes, bric-a-brac, yoga, veggie seedlings, zines, food, ‘class-less room’ and haircuts.
According to the Anarchist Cookbook, the first Really, Really Free Market took place in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2001.
Darebin Fruit Squad
The Darebin Fruit Squad (DFS) collects surplus fruit from local backyard fruit trees in Darebin and re-distributes it to local agencies who assist food-insecure people. These agencies include the Darebin Information, Volunteer & Resource Service (DIVRS), with whom they work in partnership. Since their establishment in 2013, they have collected around 6 tonnes of fruit. Whilst some tree owners simply offer their surplus fruit, others are provided with maintenance services (fertilising, pruning, etc) in return for their surplus fruit.
Based on this experience, DFS and DIVRS are now encouraging others localities to develop similar initiatives. To assist with this, they have recently published a booklet entitled Harvesting the Urban Orchard, whose aim is “to provide practical information, tools and tips that you can use in establishing your own fruit-harvesting project.” Click here to view or download the booklet. (posted March 1 2017)
Fitzroy Community Food Centre
The “The Fitzroy Community Food Centre (FCFC) brings people together around food. The projects offered through the kitchen help people to access fresh food, learn about growing and preparing food and also provide opportunities to share food in a spirit of conviviality. The FCFC addresses issues of food security, healthy food education and skill building, social isolation, multicultural understanding, food waste and community connectedness.” The project is being undertaken by Cultivating Community.
Foodbank Victoria is a major organisation whose purpose is “to source and distribute healthy food to assist Victorians experiencing hardship.” Each year, around 500,000(!) Victorians receive food that came from the Foodbank – a total of 6 million kilograms or 12 million meals each year. This food is supplied to around 500 registered charity food relief agencies around Victoria who, in turn, distribute it to members of the community. Foodbank is also funded by the Victorian Education Department to support breakfast clubs in 500 disadvantaged primary schools. And it runs the ‘Farms to Families’ program, which supports the provision of fresh fruit and vegetables direct from farmers to local families via pop-up markets.
FareShare cooks 5,000(!), free nutritious meals for Victorians for free every day. Watch this video from Gardening Australia, where Jane Edmanson visits them to see what they do and how they do it. It is both watchable and reasonably short (5 minutes).
Feed Melbourne is an annual fundraising campaign run by Leader Community News and food rescue charity FareShare, supported by Newman’s Own Foundation. Every dollar raised by the appeal helps suburban food relief charities such as soup kitchens, community food banks, free school breakfast clubs, to collect, store, cook and distribute food to people going hungry in our city. Two thirds of the appeals funds are given out as grants and the remaining third is provided to FareShare.
3000acres aims to unlock underutilised land across the city to grow food and build communities.