It is widely recognised that food insecurity has detrimental effects on the health of individuals, families and the community as a whole. Within the G21 region evidence suggests that not everyone has regular access to food and that food insecurity is a growing issue.
In 2014 the Give Where You Live Foundation undertook with the City of Greater Geelong, Food for Thought: A Needs Assessment of Food Assistance in the Geelong Region, Victoria. This Report documented the current state of the emergency food assistance system and found
- that an estimated 368,732 meals per year are provided by the food assistance system in Geelong
- that 72% of food assistance providers identified that more than 50% of their clients are considered long term (coming for more than 6 months)
- and that 64% of food assistance providers reported an increase in clients seeking food assistance in the past year
The Report identified that there are more than 50 organisations running at least 99 programs in the G21 region that provide emergency food assistance to men, women and children in need. These are just the organisations we were able to identify and engage in the Report – we believe there are more. Many of these organisations are run by volunteers. Many of these organisations are run on a small budgets.
Each year the Feed Geelong Appeal seeks to provide organisations like these with resources to increase access to nutritious food for those most vulnerable in our community. In 2017 the Feed Geelong Grant Program will provide small grants of up to $5,000 to help organisations improve food supply and access to nutritional food. Specifically grant funding can be used for:
- Kitchen and storage infrastructure (e.g. cupboards and storage containers, refrigerators, freezers, trolley, food processors, kitchen equipment)
- Minor capital works projects (building out a food pantry, installing shelving, building a cool room)
- Programs that prepare and deliver food and/or support the development of nutrition knowledge and food preparation skills to those experiencing food insecurity
- Transportation of food (e.g. funding toward refrigerated vehicles or trailers, fuel)
- Nutritious and culturally appropriate food (e.g. meat, dairy, fruit and veg ) when it is unable to be sourced through donations
In 2017 we received requests totalling $50,008. This is an increase of 46% in terms of funds requested from 2016. Of the applications 45% were from new organisations (i.e. had never submitted a Feed Geelong grant application before)! We are pleased to announced that 10 Feed Geelong grants were awarded totalling $33,755.10.
Congratulations to the 2017 Feed Geelong Grant Recipients. View the full listing here