How to access affordable, fresh food

Two people standing next to a raised garden bed.

The Community Food Guide is a one-stop-shop that helps people access, learn about and grow affordable and nutritious food.

Community development worker Loretta Curtin said that many people who access programs at the Kensington Neighbourhood House live in high-rise apartments, so don’t have room to grow their own food.

‘We have established communal gardens around the suburb where people can access and help grow affordable, fresh, organic produce for $20 a year,’ Loretta said.

‘Our cooking and gardening workshops also show people how to shop on a budget, cook with leftovers, cook with produce from the garden, grow herbs and urban forage.’

While food insecurity in Australia may not mean dying of hunger, it can mean having to choose between paying rent or buying healthy food. For parents it can mean them eating less to help feed their children.

A recent survey revealed that 9.8 per cent of City of Melbourne residents over the age of 18 had experienced some form of food insecurity in the previous 12 months. Figures were particularly high among university students.

With limited capacity for emergency relief, community programs play an important role in supporting community capacity, health and wellbeing. Programs may include providing free or cheap meals, community gardens or even shopping support.

‘There are a broad range of food related activities taking place across the City of Melbourne, and the Community Food Guide brings all that information together for residents and agencies.’

Hard copies of the Community Food Guide are available through community hubs, libraries and online. If you wish to establish a new community food program, grant information is also available online.

To find out more, visit Community Food Guide.

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