Stephen Jones announces support for community gardens

22 May 2013

Mt_Terry_Kitchen_Garden_Opening_037.jpgCommunity food organisations will receive a boost with a small grants program to help them grow, prepare and share food, as part of the National Food Plan which will be released this Saturday.

Member for Throsby Stephen Jones today announced that a $1.5 million small grants program will be made available to support community food organisations.

Its fantastic to see the boom in local communities in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands growing, preparing and sharing food, Jones said.

The Australian Labor Government will provide grants of up to $25,000 to support farmers markets, community gardens, city farms, food hubs, cooperatives and food rescue service projects to start up and expand.

These organisations widen our access to new and interesting foods, support better health and lifestyles, increase food knowledge and support jobs by providing alternative ways to market products.

Australia has an abundance of high-quality nutritious food but not all Australians have a balanced diet. Community gardens in particular are encouraging healthier food choices.

Community food also brings people together, builds cohesion and helps bridge the gap between farmers and consumers.

Ive seen the success of these initiatives in places like Dapto, Warrawong and Mt Terry Public School already.

Stephen Jones said this program aimed to help overcome barriers to the establishment and improvement of community food initiatives.

Many community food initiatives run on the good will and hard work of volunteers, he said.

The Government wants to help community food initiatives to expand by partnering with them and providing funding for these projects.

Up to $10,000 will be available for small scale initiatives such as community gardens, city farms or similar activities and up to $25,000 will be available for larger initiatives such as farmers markets, food rescue activities or similar activities.

A call for applications for the Community Food Initiative will be released soon.