Every Monday to Friday between 1pm and 3pm, Diamond Valley FoodShare provides free food to Banyule residents in need of emergency assistance. Around 50,000 meals are given out each year, and around 400 individuals receive meals in any given month.
People are referred to the FoodShare after visiting either Diamond Valley Community Information Centre in Greensborough Plaza or Banyule Support & Information Centre (BANSIC) at The Mall, Heidelberg West. Recipients receive parcels containing enough food for three to four day periods. The food parcels can be accessed twice each month.
Most of the food comes from the two major Melbourne-wide food relief organisations, namely Foodbank and SecondBite. FoodShare’s volunteers visit Foodbank every fortnight and pick up around 200Kg of fruit and veggies plus some pastries and refrigerated goods. They visit SecondBite every week and pick up around 80Kg of fruit and veggies.
They also collect donations from a variety of local sources with the collection points including five local Woolworths supermarkets, Foodworks Ivanhoe and Diamond Village and Diamond Creek IGA supermarkets. Spoilable foods are collected in a refrigerated van which was purchased with the aid of a cash donation from Watsonia RSL.
The produce from this garden is freely available to any members of public who pass by.
The garden is open to the public 6 days per week and provides a valuable place of engagement, education and participation in sustainable living practices. The produce is available to be shared by the community and also to engage the concept of food sharing. It is a place which is open to all to enjoy either planting, harvesting or tending the garden. The installation of four wicking beds, with the help of Diamond Creek Men’s Shed, has meant the produce is thriving in all conditions and the boxes are at a great height for all to enjoy.
The garden has inter-generational appeal with programs including: storytimes to kindergartens and schools; workshops with schools with an environmental focus; monthly workshops to the general community; and a monthly food swap. The production of a number of food sources are also shared with the community, not only in the garden, but at events such as the Home Harvest Festival.
Associated regular events:
1. Working bee – every Thursday, 10-11am.
2. Food Swap – 2nd Saturday of the month, 10-11am.
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