Ballarat’s Food is Free Initiative has taken on a new mission: combatting family violence.
In an effort to oppose violence, particularly that directed toward women, the project has joined the Communities of Respect And Equality, a Womens’ Health Grampians initiative.
“The plan focuses on primary prevention of violence and changing attitudes at a community level. It is a collective effort which is what you need to prevent violence against women,” Womens’ Health Grampians Regional Consultant Dee Micevski said.
“With over 63 organisations signed onto CORE, our vision is to create safe, equal and respectful society for everyone. At the end of the day we don’t want anyone to experience violence. We’re trying to foster community where no one is at risk but we know women are over represented.”
She said the key cause of violence is related to gender inequality and the solution is social change.
“It isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s a long term strategy,” she said.
Focused on providing a point for Ballarat locals to share excess food from their gardens, Food is Free Committee secretary and CORE representative Angela Elson said the board feel very strongly that the social justice values of Food is Free align very strongly with the CORE plan.
“The food is free initiative is focused on providing a place for Ballarat locals to share excess food from their gardens,” she said.
“One of the things we try to do is support them to have access to free food, learn new skills and we understand that family violence is a whole community matter. We have a role as an agency that helps Ballarat community that reaches all sorts of ages groups and people as part of the solution.”
“Down the track we hope with expansion there will be an opportunity to offer space to those who have experienced violence to come and grow their own food in our garden beds.
“The whole point is that we support learning how to grow your own food and not wasting any. It’s a safe space for women. You take what you need and give what you can.”
For more information about Womens Health Grampians and the CORE program visit whg.org.au. For more information about the Food is Free initiative, go to www.facebook.com/foodisfreelanewayballarat.