As a council, we play a role in local food systems by providing guidance for the community on how to build a sustainable, just, and vibrant food system that will last.
Our community does a range of work in relation to food. This includes growing food at home, community gardens, free food events, forums and networks, and more.
Food System Strategy
What is a food system?
The food system includes all the steps involved in keeping us fed, from growing, harvesting, processing, packing, distribution, marketing, consumption and disposal of food. Research shows that establishing local food systems can significantly enhance the health and wellbeing of communities, improve the availability of and access to nutritious food, strengthen the local economy, and revitalise urban and natural environments
Moreland Food System Strategy
The Moreland Food System Strategy is aimed at helping us to seek opportunities where we can learn and create a resilient local food system with our community. Our Food System Strategy has been extended for a further 4 years until 2024 with a refreshed action plan linking to the Moreland Health and Wellbeing Plan and the Zero Carbon Action Plan.
Since launching our Food System Strategy we have achieved some significant outcomes with our community, such as:
- Presenting at the 2018 Urban Agriculture Forum
- Presenting at the 2019 South Australia Urban Food Network Local Government Forum
- Becoming a member of the Melbourne Food Alliance and Foodprint Project (a stakeholder advisory group)
- Developing a food system monitoring and evaluation framework
- Running a reflection workshop with 6 community stakeholder groups. This generated 9 food stories of positive change.
We have also achieved some key outcomes in specific areas that you can find below.
Alongside the community we achieved the following outcomes toward creating a healthy environment and resilient community.
- Developed 6 new communal food growing sites including Fawkner Food Bowls, Gowanbrae Community Garden, Warr Park Food Forest, Reynard Street Community Garden, Merlynston Linear Park and Culinary Orchard, and the Upfield Urban Forest
- Resolved over 15 community initiated food growing related requests
- Funded 3000 acres for the 'Moreland Grows' exhibition and videos of 5 Moreland home food gardeners
- Created community garden assessment tools and guidelines
- Provided support for Moreland Community Gardening inc.
- Saw our local food networks expand by over 5 community groups
- Held 3 local food forums and networking events which were attended by over 115 people
- Generated over 190m3 of bulk compost from food and garden waste at 12 community gardens
Alongside the community we achieved the following outcomes toward ensuring that there is equal social and economic access to nutritious food in Moreland.
- Created community food asset mapping to inform our community food hub feasibility study
- Generated funding support for the Fawkner Wholefoods Collective
- Supported the establishment of the 'Fawkner Commons' food distribution hub
- Supported the Ecological Justice Hub's meals delivery food relief service
- Established the Moreland Food and Material Relief Network with over 32 members
Alongside the community we achieved the following outcomes toward ensuring that we maintain a vibrant, thriving food culture that celebrates diversity.
- We mapped our commercial kitchens and provided support for a commercial kitchen hiring pilot program
- Supported 3000 acres with Open Garden VIC for the 2019 summer series of 13 home food garden tours and workshops. Within this series we supported 9 Moreland home food garden tours in partnership with Darebin Council for the Backyard Harvest Festival
- Generated funding support for 'Cook, dine and shine', a multicultural cooking event series, as well as 'Lost recipes of Fawkner: unearthing multicultural family recipes'
- Co-hosted Devita Davidson's Growing Food Micro-Enterprise Workshop for 25 participants
- Hosted a talk by David Holmgren on 'Retrosuburbia' which was attended by over 60 people
One of the priorities in our Food System Strategy was to develop ways to track our progress against the outcomes we are aiming for. We worked with residents and community group members to develop a Summary Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for monitoring this progress. The framework also allows us to adjust our Food System Strategy to stay on track to achieve our goals.
Food security and food access
Food security is when all people have access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate and safe food. Moreland has been shown to have high levels of food insecurity. Food insecurity happens when households run out of food and are not able to buy more.
Addressing the cause of food security issues
One of the actions of our Food Systems Strategy is to work with groups, agencies and residents to address the causes of people lacking food security in Moreland.
In 2020 we completed a feasibility study on establishing a community food hub in Moreland's northern suburbs. This area has some of the least food secure communities in Moreland.
There are a number of services that provide food parcels to Victorians who need them.
- Brunswick Salvos (food parcels and takeaway hot meals) - call 9388 5500
- Getato Messina in partnership with Fare Share (precooked frozen meals) - see the Gelato Messina website
- Reynard Street Neighbourhood House (precooked frozen meals - call 9386 7128
- Muslim Women's Council of Victoria (cooked halal meals available) - call 0481 752 964
- Moreland Manna (takeaway, warm meals, coffee, tea, bread and light morning tea) - call 0416 378 748
Moreland's Meals on Wheels - call 9240 2302. Available for:
- People over the age of 65
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 45 who are on low income, are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- People on low income and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness over the age of 50.