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HELP US FEED CHILDREN THIS WINTER

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As winter looms FareShare is determined to feed as many children as possible.

Since the start of this year, we have received multiple requests to supply meals for children. We always do our best to respond and recently started helping two additional schools and two new children’s charities.

Can you help directly fund the production of nutritious meals for kids in crisis?

Children in crisis accommodation walk to school where a FareShare lunch awaits.

It costs us just 75 cents to produce one meal, that’s around $3 to feed a family of four or $63 to feed that family for a week. Your tax-deductible donation will not only help us feed disadvantaged families this winter, it will enable us to go the extra mile to cater to the special needs and tastes of children.

It might be spaghetti meatballs or lasagna for primary school children in public housing.  Or lunchbox treats, such as zucchini slice and cake with fresh fruit, for young kids in crisis accommodation. Or veg-packed sausage rolls and pies for teenagers at risk.

Cynthia Johnston, who manages LiveWires, an after-school program for primary school children on the Collingwood public housing estate, says a FareShare meal may be the only hot meal of the day for a child.

“We feed kids who haven’t had anything at lunch or recess,” says Cynthia.  “The FareShare food is a huge help for us. We target kids who really need it.  We put what’s left over in takeaway containers at the end of the night to help siblings and families as well.

“With FareShare slipping in hidden veggies, we ensure the kids are getting the nutrition they need.”

Please consider a donation to help FareShare provide good food to children to support their growth, social development and wellbeing.

FARESHARE DELIVERS WEEKLY BOX OF FRESH FOOD FOR STRUGGLING FAMILIES

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FareShare has teamed up with fruit and milk delivery company The Fruit Box Group to distribute 25,000 boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and bread to families in need.

The One Box initiative targets 1,000 families who are struggling to afford healthy food with each one receiving a box of fresh produce every week.

“This is a great initiative to support families facing serious disadvantage with the fresh, healthy food most of us take for granted,” said FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho. “The aim is to ensure families receive sustainable support every week and we have put on an extra vehicle and driver to make this happen.”

Pastor Joy and Kris Jack at Kingston City Church are thrilled with The One Box leg-up for families

Each box contains two litres of full-cream milk, a loaf of bread, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, bananas, apples and citrus fruit.

FareShare has set up a new run to deliver the donated food to charities supporting families in acute need including Kingston City Church, Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering and Northpoint Centre Food Bank.

The Fruit Box Group is investing up to $400,000 in the Melbourne pilot and aims to expand the program.

“In a plentiful country like Australia, it’s shocking that so many families are going without,” said The Fruit Box Group CEO and founder Martin Halphen. “We believe that one box of fresh produce each week can make a real difference to families in need, hopefully creating a healthy foundation for children now and having a lifetime influence on health.”

The impact of the first 25 weeks of The One Box will be assessed by La Trobe Business School with a view to establishing a new charity.

The Rotary Club of Balwyn has keenly supported FareShare for nearly a decade and we are grateful to its members for getting behind this exciting new initiative.

FARESHARE BREAKS GROUND WITH RECORD SWEET POTATO HARVEST

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The first harvest of Victoria’s largest planting of sweet potato commenced today at our Abbotsford kitchen garden.

The cultivation of a global staple, rarely seen in Melbourne gardens, is part of an innovative partnership between FareShare and the Burnley Campus of the University of Melbourne. The bulk of the sweet potatoes have been planted on the Baguley family farm in Clayton South where Les Baguley has generously provided a substantial area for FareShare to grow veggies.

Yes! Volunteer Kit shows sweet potatoes can thrive in Melbourne

Dr Chris Williams’ Novel Crops Project, based at the Burnley Campus, is investigating around 30 new food plants and varieties for Melbourne. Its aim is to broaden crop choice for home and community gardeners, local councils and nurseries with plants such as sweet potato, taro and ginger.

“This is the first time sweet potato has ever been planted on this scale in Melbourne,” said Dr Williams. “Some of the varieties we are trialling at FareShare don’t even have a name yet. There are no commercial growers in Victoria.”

The Novel Crops Project promotes the concept of “edible landscapes” – attractive gardens that also provide food.

Our five varieties of home-grown sweet potatoes

“The low GI, versatile and easy-to- prepare sweet potato is a welcome ingredient for FareShare’s nutritious meals,” said Kellie Watson, FareShare’s general manager. “It will enable to us better support migrant groups and develop more culturally-appropriate recipes. The sweet potatoes will be used in a variety of FareShare dishes including curries and soups.”

The sweet potato plants were propagated by urban horticulture students from Burnley and by refugees and migrants doing English language courses at the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC). The CNLC students also received basic horticultural training at Burnley focused on food plants. As a result, 1000 tubes of five different sweet potato varieties were given to FareShare last December. Continue reading

HOW FARESHARE CAKE HELPS CHILDREN IN CRISIS

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Losing your home, changing schools and living in crisis accommodation can put a huge strain on young children.

A new collaboration with Launch Housing makes the journey a little easier by providing primary school children with a lunchbox complete with specially-baked FareShare cake.

Michelle McDonald facilitates an Education Pathways Program called STEP to re-engage children in primary school. There are currently more than 20 children taking part in the program, travelling to a primary school within the southern region of Melbourne on a walking school bus.

“They don’t have ovens at home,” explains Michelle. “Some families have even come from cars.

Lunch is a highlight for these kids. With FareShare’s support they enjoy healthy sandwiches, at least two bits of fruit, a couple of snacks such as zucchini slice or hard boiled eggs, and CAKE.

“The FareShare food is gold. It brings joy every day. When we put out the cake the first time it was polished off straightaway and became a talking point. Our kids are having lunches that other kids want.”

Social inclusion is a big part of the program and showing off their special lunches, made to order by the program’s staff, volunteers and mothers at school, helps build confidence and fight stigma.

“Other kids in the school see the food and want to be part of the program. It is seen as a good thing which is very important to the STEP children,” says Michelle.

FareShare passes on rescued food, bakes cakes and prepares snacks on a weekly basis to support the program.

Happily, by the time they complete the STEP program, 90 per cent of children are attending school regularly.

MARCUS GODINHO CELEBRATES PERSONAL MILESTONE AT FARESHARE

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Our CEO Marcus Godinho recently notched up a significant number of his own – 10 years at the helm of FareShare. When he took up the role after three years’ volunteering, we were known as One Umbrella, our kitchen was rented from the Hanover Crisis Centre and the office was his spare bedroom.

“I got involved because I hated the idea of all the resources that go into food being wasted,” said Marcus, previously CEO of Environment Victoria. “It was through volunteering in the kitchen that I learnt about people in Australia going hungry.”

When Marcus accepted the role, the menu was almost exclusively pastries and our top priority was to establish our own kitchen. “I will never forget long term supporter Annette Chaitman ringing me to say her mother, Ethel Goldin, would like to make a significant donation.  I couldn’t believe it.  A month later, the family decided to substantially increase its support and we started looking for a premises.”

Marcus Godinho in FareShare’s first kitchen In Thompson St, 2008

In May 2008, FareShare fired up the ovens in our first dedicated kitchen and by October Woolworths – our biggest food donor – came on board.  “Those days were hard yards.  I remember speaking to financial backers and food donors during the day, and supervising volunteers in the kitchen at night.”

As we continued to grow, FareShare moved again into our current kitchen in May 2013 with the aim of cooking one million meals per year. Today, we cook around 100,000 meals a month.

“FareShare is a community of so many people, businesses and foundations,” said Marcus.  “Leadership has never sat with one person.  Significant contributions have been made by many people.

“These days what energises me most is the commitment, creativity, generosity, connections and humility of our 900 plus regular volunteers, financial donors and business partners.”

A DATE WITH GARDENING AUSTRALIA

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FareShare Kitchen Garden, Abbotsford made its television debut on March 11 on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia.

Presenter Jane Edmanson visited  our first garden back in September last year as we were pulling up carrots. Garden

Jane Edmanson inspects our home grown carrots

manager Susie showed Jane around the 70 beds alongside Victoria Park railway station and explained our strategy to plug gaps in our supply of rescued veg, with a focus on root crops such as carrot and turnip.

The ABC film crew then followed our garden ute back to the kitchen to see how we are incorporating the home-grown veg in our meals for people in need.

No story about FareShare is complete without cooking so general ops manager Kellie Watson led Jane on a tour of the kitchen where our chefs and volunteers served up veggie pasta and lamb casserole using ingredients harvested in the garden.

The kitchen garden, supported by RACV, was established in January 2016 on a waste ground between the train tracks and Victoria Park oval. Since then it has produced 3.3 tonnes of fresh vegetables including zucchini, carrot, parsnip, turnip, leek, capsicum, eggplant, silverbeet, peas and parsley.

You can see all the action here. Watch out for a number of garden volunteers who have cameo appearances and interviews. Happy viewing.

 

OPEN GARDEN HIGHLIGHTS WASTELAND TO WONDERLAND

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gardenwebFareShare Kitchen Garden, Abbotsford is opening its gates to the public on Friday, 24 February as part of the Urban Agriculture Series for the 2017 Sustainable Living Festival.

The urban veggie garden was created on a strip of wasteland between Victoria Park Railway Station and Victoria Park oval in 2016 to grow vegetables for FareShare.

Less than 12 months later it boasts 70 beds created by volunteers. The garden is currently growing eggplant, zucchini, carrots, silverbeet, capsicum, beans, Jerusalem artichoke and a trial crop of sweet potato varieties.

Visitors will be able to tour the site and learn about growing food in Melbourne. The Backyard Honey beekeeper will also be at the garden to highlight the important role healthy, local bees play in edible gardens.

Discover the world of vermicompost

You can find out how to generate worm castings from Colin Leitch who will be on hand to provide visitors with advice and demonstrations on worm farms and the most suitable system for you. Colin collects around 150 kg of organic waste from cafes in Lorne each week for use as a feedstock in worm farms at the Lorne Community House. He supplies the resulting vermicompost to FareShare as a soil amendment for our garden beds.

There will also be information on composting to help you tackle unavoidable food waste and generate your own “black gold” to feed your plants.

FareShare Kitchen Garden, Abbotsford supported by RACV, is one of three urban sites producing vegetables for FareShare. All food grown at the garden is taken to the FareShare kitchen where it adds vital nutrition to our meals for people in crisis. In January this year the garden produced almost half a tonne of fresh veg.

 

Event details:

Date: Friday, 24 February 2017

Time: 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Address: FareShare Kitchen Garden, Lulie St, Abbotsford

There is no need to book and attendance is free.

FARESHARE GIVES HOPE TO SINGLE MUM ON COMMUNITY SERVICE

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When single mum Tania was given a community-based order, she didn’t imagine any good would come of it. But after undertaking her service in the FareShare kitchen things changed.

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Tania in the FareShare kitchen: “I can’t wait to work with you again.”

Now Tania has now signed up as a regular volunteer with her sights set on reviving her career in hospitality after 15 years of unemployment.

“It’s inspired me to get back into hospitality full-time,” said Tania who began working shifts in the FareShare kitchen last April as part of an innovative collaboration between FareShare and the Department of Justice and Regulation.

“I was a bit scared at first but now I’m bouncing before I even get through the FareShare doors,” said Tania. “The chefs are amazing.”

Tania, who has experience waitressing and once worked at McDonald’s organising kids’ parties, hopes she can assist others on community-based orders at FareShare now that she has completed her 130 hours of service.

She fully understands how some families struggle to make ends meet. “I’ve fallen on hard times recently and had to use food banks so I know what it’s like.

“I’ve packaged food at FareShare that I’ve actually eaten myself when I needed it at desperate times. I had no idea where it came from before.”

Now Tania, is keen to give back and restart her career.

“I’ve loved the hospitality industry since I was a child. You have put the fire back in my belly to work with food again.”

The feeling is mutual. FareShare kitchen manager Chris Mitchison said Tania was a fantastic asset to the kitchen. “Tania has been a pleasure to work with from day one. She’s hard working and keen to learn. The perfect volunteer!”

Tania was one of dozens of people serving court or parole orders who has increased the number of meals available for the hungry by working in the FareShare Kitchen on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons.  The program is being extended this year.

FARESHARE HELPS SAVE FATHER BOB’S CHRISTMAS LUNCH

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A community effort led by the Father Bob Maguire Foundation and FareShare ensured some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged people got their fair share this Christmas.

Father Bob’s traditional Christmas lunch was threatened after previous catering arrangements fell through. FareShare stepped in to cook the feast with all the trimmings at Collingwood Town Hall on Friday 23 December.

More than 300 guests, including dozens of children, sat down to a sumptuous Christmas lunch prepared from food donated by Woolworths and served by volunteers.

Ty, 7, and mum Belinda, join Father Bob for Christmas lunch

Ty, 7, and mum Belinda, join Father Bob for Christmas lunch

The menu comprised roasted lemon & oregano chicken, ham off the bone and roast vegetables, followed by sticky date pudding with salted caramel sauce and ice cream.

“We are extremely grateful for FareShare and our volunteers for enabling us to host this lunch, so that nobody is left behind this Christmas,” said Fr Bob Maguire.

FareShare cooks 5,000 nutritious meals every day for people doing it tough, including growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness and isolation in Melbourne.

“With three million Australians – including more than 730,000 children – now living below the poverty line, many cannot afford the delicious, nutritious food we take for granted during the festive season,” said FareShare’s Lucy Farmer.

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Chefs Chris and Joss serve up Woolies hams cooked to perfection

“We believe everyone should get their fair share this Christmas. There’s no more important time for the community to come together around food.”

Father Bob’s, the major foodbank, material aid provider and legal support for the South Melbourne area, also provided Christmas hampers to more than 1,000 families this week.

FareShare is supporting a number of charity Christmas lunches with rescued and donated food this year including a sit-down lunch for 250 at Richmond Churches Food Centre on Christmas day and a community lunch for 85 at the Wellington Centre.

TIM CAHILL AND MELBOURNE CITY FC FIGHT HUNGER AT FARESHARE

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Melbourne City FC’s Christmas Volunteer Week brought the players to the FareShare kitchen to cook meals for people in need.

Together with their ambassador Melbourne chef Shane Delia, the players donned FareShare aprons, rolled up their sleeves and got stuck into chopping vegetables, cracking eggs and beating quiche mix.

Socceroo hero Tim Cahill even lent his muscle to stirring the 150 litre Bratt pan with a chicken tagine created by Shane Delia.

Tim Cahill lends a hand in the FareShare kitchen

Tim Cahill lends a hand in the FareShare kitchen

From the kitchen, Tim Cahill said: “This is my first Christmas here, and I feel so proud to be a Melbourne City player when we do activities that benefit our community. The community ethos at the Club is awesome, and I just hope that our contribution will help bring a little bit of joy this Christmas.

The players attracted a host of media ahead of their derby fixture this weekend helping to shine a light on food poverty and those doing it tough this festive season.”

Marcus Godinho, FareShare CEO, said: “It’s fantastic to see Melbourne City’s players and staff making a direct contribution to fighting hunger in our city.

“FareShare relies on volunteers and the goodwill of the community to rescue food, cook it and distribute it to those in need. We commend Melbourne City for making a difference and helping us spread the joy of delicious food this festive season to people who can’t afford it.”

All food cooked by the players will be distributed to people in crisis. The recipe will be shared on SBS next year in a new cooking series with Shane Delia.