From early March 2015, the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council (SMECC) will be establishing a limited scale Community Food Share pilot project in partnership with Healthy Together Mildura (HTM) and Foodbank Victoria.
The Community Food Share pilot will initially be focused on sourcing surplus and ‘seconds’ local fresh produce from local suppliers in the Sunraysia region for redistribution directly to Emergency Food Relief providers, the Mildura Region School Breakfast Partnership and other services.
The Community Food Share project will form part of SMECC’s new Education & Training program, which aims to provide warehousing work experience to volunteers from Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, as well as provide practical experience for warehouse operations accredited course participants.
Reasons to Donate
• Everyone needs fresh food in order to live an active and healthy life.
• Access to healthy food should not be a privilege, but a right.
• Demand for food relief continues to rise – Foodbank agencies assist over 516,000 Australians with food relief each month (almost 35% are children).
• The most common reasons that cause people to seek food relief are generally low incomes and unexpected expenses or events.
• Almost 60,000 Australians seeking food relief each month are unable to be assisted (40% are children).
• In 2011, 9.3% of the population in the Mildura LGA had experienced food insecurity in the preceding twelve months. This equates to 5,053 adults in the municipality, but does not take their dependent children into account – therefore the figure is likely to be much higher.
• Mildura Breakfast Partnership enables 1,000 breakfasts per week to be served to 9 local schools. The aim of the breakfast program is to ensure each child in our region has a nutritious start to the day, as this has been highlighted as a growing concern in local schools.
Who will transport the produce to the Community Food Share?
We will work with each farmer and packing shed individually to organise the best solution.
Will the produce be sold?
No, it will only be given to people who are experiencing hardship. The food will be distributed through community partners which include The Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Paul, Sacred Heart Parish Soup Kitchen, Mallee District Aboriginal Services, Mallee Accommodation and Support Program and local Primary and Secondary Schools.
What happens if somebody is sick from food donated by me?
All donations are covered by ‘Good Samaritan’ legislation which protects companies and individuals from liability who donate and distribute food in good faith.
Can I claim the donation at tax time?
All food donations are tax deductable, your business will receive a tax donation receipt stating product type and volume in kilograms. The dollar value is determined by you as the supplier.
What type of food can be donated to the Community Food Share?
Currently only fresh produce can be accepted, however in June 2015 this will be reviewed. The Community Food Share will accept all fruit and vegetables including: produce that does not meet retail specifications, excess produce from high yielding harvests, and fresh produce that may have damaged packaging and/or blemishes, but are still entirely safe to the consumer.
What will happen if the produce donated exceeds the local Community Food Share’s capacity?
We will work closely with Foodbank Victoria to ensure the food is transported and distributed to community partners, throughout Victoria. No donated food will be wasted.
For more information contact:
SMECC Education & Training Coordinator
Ph: 03 5022 1006, firstname.lastname@example.org