Aiming to address Geelong’s food insecurity crisis, funds raised during the annual Give Where You Live Foundation’s Feed Geelong Appeal will go directly to providing grants to assist those organisations working within Geelong’s Emergency Food Relief System.
In 2016, Urban Seed received a $30,000 Feed Geelong grant to address the root causes of food insecurity and assist the individuals and families experiencing hunger and lack an ability to access fresh, nutritious food through the of the ‘Neighbourhood Kitchen’, ‘People’s Pantry’ and other programs in Norlane.
12 months later, we caught up with Hannah Reeves, Hub Facilitator at Urban Seed Norlane to talk through some of the needs they are noticing in our region and the difference your donations have made to combat this.
Feed Geelong: What does Urban Seed do?
Hannah: Urban Seed is a community development organisation and we run programs out in Norlane around food and hospitality to provide opportunities for the community to support each other.
Feed Geelong: What are some of the needs Urban Seed is experiencing?
Hannah: In Norlane and the northern suburbs of Geelong there are deep entrenched social issues that we’re still working to solve and get better at addressing. Food security is a big one of those. It’s one of those long term problems that is going to take a long process of commitment to work towards together.
Feed Geelong: What has been a difference you’ve seen?
Hannah: Food is just so important to what we do and for many of the people who come along to our programs, it’s often the drawcard that brings people along. One of our community members in particular came along at the end of last year just looking for some food but has since then found many connections with different people here in the community as well. She’s managed to find some work here, make some friends and become more connected – much more than she was – which has helped her mental health, with her family and much more after that initial search for food, now that initial need has been overcome.
Feed Geelong: So it’s not just about food?
Hannah: Not having food is a huge problem for people and very important. For us, it’s great that we’re able to provide meals. But more than that we look at it holistically and use meals to really try build connections between people and empower them in setting up a food security plan for themselves.
We’re finding that at Urban Seed, we’re providing up to 100 meals each week and have over 50 members in our weekly Food Cooperative Program. The demand is certainly there and with that there comes a need for monetary donations to source food. The Feed Geelong Appeal is an easy way for everyone to get on board and really help with!