Popular grassroots organisation Food is Free is launching a new garden space on Sunday, with the aim to improve food security for those experiencing disadvantage in Ballarat.
The new Food is Free Green Space, to be permanently located at the Western Oval, will increase the group’s capacity to grow fresh fruit and vegetables.
The site will be available for at-risk or marginalised community groups to grow food en masse, either for themselves, or to be placed at the nearby Food Is Free Laneway for others to share.
Over 40 volunteers will care for the two sites.
Food is Free Ballarat founder Lou Ridsdale said the new Western Oval site offered a sense of permanency which was important for food security in Ballarat.
“There is only 6.4 per cent of the population that take in the daily dietary intake of vegetables, so we want to offer access to anyone who loves fresh food or is not able to afford fresh food to come to the Food is Free Laneway,” she said.
“We are pretty limited for our space in the laneway and have well and truly used up every inch there. We are excited to use a bigger space to grow a lot more food.”
The Green Space will also serve as a recycling centre, where community members can drop of egg cartons, newspapers and other organic materials which can be broken down into soil.
Food is Free volunteer Dianne Humphris said she donates an abundance of crop from her garden at home to the Food is Free Laneway.
“It is a fantastic way of giving back to community,” she said.
“It is important everyone has ability to access fresh food. There is nothing better than the taste of something you have grown yourself or the taste of something fresh.”
ABC TV’s gardening guru Costa Georgiadis will be at the Food is Free Greenspace at the corner of Ripon Street South and Urquhart St in Ballarat for the launch on Sunday.
Live music and guided tours of the two Food is Free sites will feature at the family friendly celebrations on Sunday from 10.30am to 12pm.
Visit http://www.foodisfree.com.au/ for more information.