Foodbank Victoria’s Farms to Families program has been nominated for two top awards by the state’s peak health and volunteering bodies.
The program, which distributes free fresh fruit and vegetables into areas of disadvantage through pop-up, farmers’ style markets, is up for the VicHealth Improving Health Equity Award and the Volunteering Victoria Innovation Award.
Foodbank Victoria CEO Dave McNamara said the program, which commenced in mid 2015, was worthy of recognition.
“We know these markets are assisting people who struggle to afford even the basic necessities. Each family that attends a market walks away with at least a week’s worth of fresh, nutritious produce. I’ve attended many markets and it’s always wonderful to see the smiling faces of people who are so grateful to receive quality, fresh food. And whilst I’m immensely proud that we’re improving access to healthy food, in a nation like ours I’d prefer the issue of food insecurity didn’t exist in the first place.
“I’d like to thank all the organisations who have helped to fund and staff these markets to date, the charity partners we work with to deliver them, and the farmers who have so generously donated produce.”
In the last financial year, almost 90,000 kilograms of fresh produce was delivered at 24 pop-up markets – feeding 4500 families.
The Volunteering Victoria State Awards will be announced at Parliament House on Wednesday 22 November.
The 2017 VicHealth Awards will be announced at a ceremony at Melbourne Museum on Tuesday 5 December.