The 2018 cause will centre around the food security issues within Ballarat and surrounding areas. Currently, more than 12% of our population present to food charities each year simply to fight hunger. Alarmingly, over a third of these are children. We, along with a number of other local charities, don’t think this is acceptable.

Earlier this year the Ballarat Foundation launched the Feed Ballarat Appeal. An appeal designed to raise the considerable funds and awareness needed to fight this critical social issue. 100% of the funds raised through the Feed Ballarat Appeal go directly to addressing this issue in one of three ways.

  1. Distribution of grants to food relief charities providing immediate support to those experiencing food insecurity issues.
  2. Provision of capital to build the infrastructure required for a vibrant and sustainable food ecosystem.
  3. Distribution of grants to organisations providing education and support to aid the prevention of food insecurity in the future.

To learn more about this issue and find out more about the capital projects currently in planning, visit the Feed Ballarat website.

Uniting Ballarat

Uniting Ballarat provides a number of programs to assist with food security. BreezeWay Meals Program has been operating in the Ballarat Community for the past 20 years. BreezeWay provides a substantial, hot nutritional two course midday meal every day of the year for people who are marginalised, homeless, living in insecure accommodation or have no cooking facilities. Over 350,000 meals have been served since the program began and each day an average of 60 hot lunches and 48 takeaway sandwich packs are provided. Those attending also have access to shower facilities, medical health services and access to other support services. Meals for Change is a café meals program that supports young people aged 15- 25 years. Meals for Change provides opportunities for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to enjoy subsidised nutritious meals in a community setting. There are approximately 80 Meals for Change memberships active at any given time.

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Ballarat Community Health

Ballarat Community Health organises and provides executive support to the Food Access Network - a collaboration of partners committed to reducing food insecurity in the Ballarat region. BCH has undertaken a number of research projects regarding food insecurity in Ballarat. BCH operates SecondBite which redistributes around 20,000 kgs of rescued food per year to around 16 different food programs. BCH also cooks meals in large quantities for the Soup Bus which from the Sebastopol site on Monday and Tuesday nights. BCH also provides a range of food literacy programs which focuses on topics such as cooking classes, supermarket trips and understanding food labels. Healthy eating and reducing food insecurity is our key health promotion to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

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Food is Free Inc.

Food Is Free Laneway has been helping people solve their food waste issues for 4 years, whilst also helping those in the community who are food insecure. Individuals have access to free fresh food such as fruit, vegetables and herbs anytime they like by visiting the laneway. Food Is Free Laneway also has an educational quality as it shows individuals how to grow their own food. There are also free seeds and seedlings that can be taken away to begin a vegetable garden in private residences. Food Is Free Inc. also has a sister site over the road via Food Is Free Green Space. The Green Space will provide garden beds to marginalized and at risk groups to garden and grow their own food. Here they can participate in workshops and learn skills that will empower and assist them to become self sufficient. Up to 100 people can visit the FIF Laneway per day and The Green Space will see the same amount of usage in the future.

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Anglicare Victoria

Anglicare delivers Emergency Relief and a Community Breakfast Program to those who do not have regular access to fresh and nutritious food. Local volunteers share a simple nutritious breakfast with people who suffer financial disadvantage, homelessness or social isolation. In a warm and friendly environment, volunteers eat with their guests to get to know them and become a support structure. In addition to this, Anglicare also offers referrals to funded agencies for housing, centrelink, employment, health, AOD and victim assistance. They have assisted over 7000 people with access to food and referred to more than 500 people to funded agencies. Visitors are also offered necessary material assistance such as blankets, swags, clothing, linen and toiletries if they are needed.

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Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre

Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre provides support to people in our community, especially those experiencing disadvantage, through a number of different community projects. ‘Our Kitchen’ is a catering social enterprise where surplus food and food grown in our community garden is used to make meals to sell to the community and local businesses. The menu is mostly vegetarian made from fresh produce, with gluten free and vegan options available. There is a focus on using low sugar and fat recipes, and all products are made from scratch. The money raised helps the long term unemployed gain work experience, educates the community on growing their own food, and in 2019 will cater for community lunches. ‘Our Kitchen’ participants attend training and by completing the program obtain pathways to employment and education opportunities in hospitality.

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Salvation Army

The Salvation Army engages with the community through food assistance, counselling and education programs to meet the needs of the Ballarat community. The organisation delivers a number of services that help combat food insecurity. Emergency Relief Assistance is given to approximately one hundred needy clients per week. It provides immediate support to individuals and families facing a crisis with necessities such as food, accommodation and clothes. The Salvation Army also provides in excess of 300 meals each week in the Meals Program to those experiencing food insecurity. They also collect and redistribute re-usable food through SecondBite and source food from suppliers to assist with the Meals Program, Emergency Relief and to Ballarat Community Men's Shed.

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