Food is free

Diamond Valley FoodShare
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Greensborough
Notes (in their own words):

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.

Read an interview from April 2018.

Food is Free, Blackburn
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Blackburn
Notes (in their own words):

This is a social permaculture initiative to share resources, distribute surplus, create connection, help other people, and strengthen community ties.

Food is Free, Hurstbridge
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Hurstbridge
Notes (in their own words):

This initiative is one of a number of related food-related initiatives at the site (others include a food swap, a community garden and a seed library).

The Food is Free table is situated under the verandah outside the entrance to the Hurstbridge Community Hub.

Anyone in the community can take from table and you don’t need to contribute anything or leave items in its place. Homegrown food and other items that are left over from the twice monthly food swap are placed on the Food is Free table for everyone in the community to access.

Individual donations of food and garden-related items can be left on the table at any time. Don’t throw those extras in the compost, red bin or recycle: share them with the community!

You can join their Facebook group for regular updates on what is happening.

Food is Free, Reservoir
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Reservoir
Notes (in their own words):

The Reservoir site was established in 2015 so that local gardeners with surplus produce have a place where they can easily share it within the community. All you need to do to contribute is drop off any surplus home grown food/seeds/seedlings to their sharing crate (on the nature strip) at any time. Please provide a label if it is not obvious what the items are.

Food is Free, Ringwood East
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Ringwood East
Notes (in their own words):

People leave surplus from their pantry or garden. It is all about community and contribution. Generosity, in giving and receiving. All are welcome. It is all free. Located on the fence line and open 24/7.

Food is Free, Warrandyte
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Warrandyte
Notes (in their own words):

The food has all been donated— it’s fresh and free to anybody who needs it. There are gold coin donation boxes to help people feel more comfortable taking the food.

Greenhills Neighbourhood House
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Greensborough
Notes (in their own words):

Greenhills Neighbourhood House has a food relief centre that offers fresh food, pantry items and toiletries on Thursdays and Fridays each week (except between Christmas and New Year). They also serve low-cost barista coffee. More generally, they offer support to everyone and can also give referrals to other connected programs.

In line with their model of ‘donate what you can and take what you need’, they accept donations from the local community.

They often organise swaps (of books, puzzles, plants and clothes) to reduce waste in the community.

They have community composting and recycling programs plus a number of veggies beds.

Grow Free, Lalor
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Lalor
Notes (in their own words):

‘Grow Free’ is a movement “dedicated to making our food locally grown, organic and free” and they are currently” all about growing and giving away free organic, heirloom veggie/herb/flower seedlings for people to get their garden going“. The movement started out in Adelaide but is now coming to Melbourne.

Grow Free, Rosanna
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Rosanna
Notes (in their own words):

‘Grow Free’ is a movement “dedicated to making our food locally grown, organic and free” and they are currently” all about growing and giving away free organic, heirloom veggie/herb/flower seedlings for people to get their garden going“. The movement started out in Adelaide but is now coming to Melbourne.

Reservoir Neighbourhood House
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Reservoir
Notes (in their own words):

Reservoir Neighbourhood House has a ‘community pantry’, which is simply an open cupboard fixed to the outside wall to which people can either donate, or freely take out, any non-perishable food. In practice, most of the food is bought from a local supermarket using a local, grant.

It appears that most of the food is taken within a few hours of being placed there. In response, although the Neighbourhood House staff buy most of the produce on a Monday morning, they spread out the timing of its placement in the pantry. Anyone can take anything that they want whenever they want and they don’t need to interact with the Neighbourhood House staff to do so.

Monday to Thursday, the Neighbourhood House is open for emergency food relief. On Monday nights and Thursday mornings, they give away free bread. Every other Tuesday, they have a delivery of fresh produce. On the 2nd Tuesday of every month, they have a morning tea. And on the 4th Wednesday of every month, they have a free lunch.

SecondBite Diamond Creek
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Diamond Creek
Notes (in their own words):

SecondBite in Diamond Creek is open every Saturday, 9-10am. It provides, at no cost, a wide variety of fresh produce and other edible goods available to those facing food insecurity or challenges. No referral is required; just drop by and collect fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste. Any surplus that is left over is then taken to the Food is Free table in Hurstbridge.

The initiative is operated by The Rotary Club of Diamond Creek in partnership with SecondBite. The aims are to lessen waste and reduce hunger by:

  • Giving food producers and retailers the opportunity to reduce surplus and unsold food.
  • Re-distributing high quality surplus food to the community.
  • Diverting nutritious, edible, quality food from entering landfill, thus promoting environmental well-being.
Thomastown Neighbourhood House
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Thomastown
Notes (in their own words):

Thomastown Neighbourhood House has a ‘Free Food Pantry’ which operates Monday-Thursday 9am-8.30pm, Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. It is located in the foyer of the Thomastown Library. Take along a bag and take what you need (pre-packaged grocery items).

They also run ‘Food Relief Fridays’ in front of the Thomastown Library on Fridays, 11am- midday. Go along and pick up a bag of good quality fresh fruit and veggies.

The Thomastown Neighbourhood House food relief efforts are funded by the City of Whittlesea Emergency Relief Fund and supported by IGA Mercato, High Street, Thomastown.

Whittlesea Food Collective
Category:
Township/Suburb:
Epping
Notes (in their own words):

Whittlesea Food Collective aims to develop an integrated response to people experiencing hardship, where the response includes food production and distribution, plant and food-based enterprises, recycling and waste reduction and learning and employment pathways. It delivers individuals with fresh, nourishing food, free of cost, to eligible residents in the City of Whittlesea.

It also provides opportunities for people to volunteer and participate in community activities (see application form). And it accepts donations (see donations form).

Its resources include a demonstration veggie garden and a commercial kitchen.

Whittlesea Food Collective is a partnership between Whittlesea Community Connections and the Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network. It is part of a broader project, the Whittlesea Community Farm and Food Collective, which is a partnership between Whittlesea Community Connections, Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Polytechnic and City of Whittlesea.