The Community Grocer now open in Carlton

13 July 2023

Stock up on low-cost fresh fruit and vegetables at a weekly affordable produce market in Carlton. 

The Community Grocer is open and ready to serve fresh produce to the community.

We backed the social enterprise with a $45,000 grant to reopen its beloved Friday-morning market at the Carlton Public Housing Estate in December. 

Dr Rebecca Lindberg, Chair of The Community Grocer, said the Carlton market began in 2014 and the team is very happy to be back after a forced closure due to COVID-19. 

‘People come and find foods that reflect their cultural needs and foods for their celebrations. We ensure people have choice, and that they have access to nutritious and fresh produce each week,’ Rebecca said 

‘We subsidise the cost of fruit and veggies to make sure it’s affordable for everyone, and at the same time we’re an agile, small not-for-profit. Any income goes back into the organisation to improve food security for every citizen in the City of Melbourne.’ 

How we support food security

In the City of Melbourne, about one in three residents experienced food insecurity and only four per cent of adults consumed the minimum recommended daily serves of fruit and vegetables in 2021, according to our Community Indicators Survey. 

To find out more about our work in this space, visit How we support food security in Melbourne.

The Community Grocer runs three markets in public housing estates and community centres across Melbourne, supporting up to 500 customers a week. Produce is sold at prices 30 percent lower than supermarkets. 

Part of the City of Melbourne grant will be put towards the Grocer Gift Card program. For a limited time, local organisations such as CoHealth, Our Place and the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre are offering vouchers to market customers in need. 

‘Across Victoria, three in 10 households identify as food insecure – and unfortunately this has been exacerbated with the pandemic and cost-of-living pressures,’ Rebecca said. 

‘There are too many households who are struggling to ensure they can feed themselves and their family well. 

‘I think we demonstrate that a social enterprise has a really important role to play in providing dignified access to nutritious, affordable and high-quality food for food-insecure people.’ 

The Carlton Community Grocer is open every Friday from 8am to 12pm at the Carlton Housing Estate at 510 Lygon Street. The market is at the bottom of the flats.

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