The Ballarat Foundation has committed funding to the Food Access Network (FAN) administered by Ballarat Community Health (BCH) to facilitate the Ballarat Community Food Security Partnership Project program. The funding will support FAN to create an integrated response to food insecurity in the community, and investigate the establishment of a food hub in Ballarat.
Food insecurity is an ongoing issue in Ballarat. The 2011-2012 Victorian Population Health Survey found between 1700 and 5600 Ballarat residents had experienced food insecurity. Despite a range of programs, the numbers of Ballarat residents affected continues to increase.
BCH hosted a food forum in 2015 and this resulted in the formation of the Food Access Network (FAN). FAN works to reduce food insecurity in the Ballarat region by sharing information and resources around food relief initiatives in Ballarat; advocating for greater food access and food security; developing sustainable initiatives such as food education projects and investigating the feasibility of a food hub in Ballarat.
A planning forum will take place on 4 May to bring together key organisations from across Ballarat to create an integrated strategic plan for the formation of a Ballarat Food Hub.
The Ballarat Foundation (with its joint organisation United Way Ballarat) is one of Australia's leading rural community philanthropic organisations. Based on the community foundation philanthropic model and the United Way philosophy of charitable activity, the Ballarat Foundation works to strengthen Ballarat and the surrounding regional community through Philanthropy, community partnerships and volunteering activity.
Food security is one of four priority areas for the Ballarat Foundation and in 2016 the organisation provided funds to BCH (on behalf of the FAN) for the Ballarat Community Food Security Partnership.
FAN members include: Ballarat Community Health, City of Ballarat, United Way/Ballarat Foundation, Central Highland Primary Care Partnership, Salvation Army, Uniting Care, Anglicare, Soup Bus, YMCA, Hepburn Health, Laneway Food is Free, Golden Plains Shire, Link Up - Ballarat SC, Wellbeing Wendouree, Permaculture Guild, Rowan View Preschool, Harvest Ministry of Food.