Whittlesea Food Collective is an initiative launched in late 2019 by Whittlesea Community Connections and the Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network.

WFC supports people experiencing hardship with free food and material aid, help paying bills and accessing other services that can provide assistance. It also provides opportunities for people to volunteer and participate in community activities.

WFC is part of a broader project, the Whittlesea Community Farm and Food Collective, which is a partnership between Whittlesea Community Connections, Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Polytechnic and City of Whittlesea

Our Purpose

To combat the increasing levels food insecurity within the Whittlesea region, WFC has four main objectives:

  • Enhance community connectedness
  • Improve health and wellbeing
  • Create pathways to training and employment
  • Demonstrate environmental best practice in producing and distributing food

What We provide

WFC provides different services that aim to develop a sustainable food relief program, including food production and distribution, plant and food-based enterprises, recycling and waste reduction and learning and employment pathways. We are here to:
  • Provide free food for up to 1000 households facing food insecurity
  • Create training opportunities for 100 community members
  • Increase health and wellbeing
  • Enhance community connections
  • Provide 100 people with volunteer and work experience opportunities
  • Demonstrate food production and distribution models
    Food Distribution Centre

    A central point of donation and collection, with wrap around information, referral and casework services.

    Demonstration Garden

    A raised garden to supply the Food Distribution Centre, demonstrate ease of growing a range of foods and host edible gardening, composting, pruning, grafting workshops and introduction to horticulture and permaculture style courses and community events like ‘Harvest Festivals’.

    Food Preparation

    Use the commercial kitchen to prepare food for late use, for example by preserving and preparing frozen meals. Provide opportunities for community members to share their culinary skills and host food handling training and cooking courses.

    Community Education / Workshop

    We let community members and groups share their knowledge with others which involve cooking and gardening.

    Whittlesea Food Collective also supports other food relief providers in the region. To establish and operate the food collective, we need to increase our support from the community through donations of goods, services and money.

    Why We Are Doing This

    In 2015, 6.2% of households had run out of food and could not afford to more at least once. This number increased to 12.1% in 2016, almost double the number of households from 2015 and a small increase from 2014’s 8.9% of households. WFC aims to decrease the number of households that are experiencing food insecurity.
    It is estimated that food waste costs the Australian economy twenty billion dollars each year. Five million tonnes of food ends up as land fill.
    The number of people participating in community groups has decreased significantly from 2014 where it was 57.7%, to 49.5% in 2015 and finally 43.6% in 2016. WFC is working to increase this number by offering a large variety of volunteer roles to aid the overall mission.

    Discover more services and events available in the Whittlesea Community

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