When the pandemic hit, conservative estimates predicted that over 10% of the population would be in need of emergency food assistance over the coming months; with the potential demand being over 250,000 meals needed per week. Aware that Melbourne’s fresh food system was not equipped for this scale of crisis, 15 Victorian food social enterprises joined forces with STREAT and rapidly mobilised a large scale food distribution system, with the long term goal of establishing food security and resilience.
Project Moving Feast
|HMSTrust RAPID RESPONSE GRANT|
|COVID-19||As an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, STREAT created Moving Feast, a collaboration of Victorian food social enterprises. Moving Feast addressed the critical food security issues intensified by the pandemic by providing seasonal, nutritious, culturally-diverse food to vulnerable Victorians. HMSTrust agreed to redirect our existing Impact grant into a Rapid Response grant to support the backbone operations of the project.|
Although relatively small, Victoria’s food social enterprises were critical in responding to the current crisis for two key reasons: they create food security right across the food system from farm to table; and are major employers and service providers to vulnerable Victorians.
Without philanthropic support, these enterprises would have been forced to close, resulting in the system and our communities suffering worse social and environmental issues.
- The Moving Feast Food Alliance has built a collaborative response across three phases of the pandemic: Relief, Recovery and Rejuvenation.
- Relief efforts provide immediate food assistance to the state’s most vulnerable people.
- Recovery activities aim to increase food security of low-income households, public housing and local communities by mass production and distribution of food boxes and backyard growing kits.
- Rejuvenation activities aim to create integrated and resilient local food systems.
- Between March and November 2020, Moving Feast has:
- Tended 800 community garden plots;
- Cooked and delivered 116,514 culturally appropriate meals;
- Grown and distributed 28,744 boxes of fresh produce;
- Distributed 6,500 copies of written wellbeing materials; and
- Started translating these wellbeing materials into 13 other languages
- The project now prepares to create a bountiful city food-bowl with young people being trained and employed as urban horticulturists across the collective gardens.