Food System Strategy
The Merri-bek community does a range of exciting work in relation to food, including growing at home, community gardens, free food events, forums, networking, food enterprises and food swaps.
Council developed the Merri-bek Food System Strategy to provide the building blocks for the community and Council to advance a sustainable, just and vibrant food system into the future.
The implementation of this strategy seeks opportunities to learn and create a resilient local food system together.
This strategy was based on community input that informed the Seeding Change report (PDF 14Mb) and was launched in September 2017.
The Strategy Action Plan is a working document and will be reviewed and amended as projects are finalised and new initiatives identified that support the strategy's goals.
In three years the community and Council have achieved some significant outcomes together, including: 6 new community food growing sites, an expanded local food network, 4 new food enterprises, 3 educational and 3 networking events.
Highlights from 2017-20 are shown in the attached illustration (PDF 2Mb)
The 2016 report Food Security in the City of Merri-bek background report (PDF 997Kb) (produced by Cindy Tran at Melbourne University) drew from local evidence about the issues of food security in Merri-bek.
Working with groups, agencies and residents to address the causes of people lacking food security is an action in the Merri-bek Food System Strategy.
Council is undertaking a feasibility study in 2020 on establishing a community food hub in the north of Merri-bek, which has some of the least food secure communities in the municipality.
Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
A priority action in the Food System Strategy was to develop measures to track progress against the outcomes we are looking for in the strategy.
A team of dedicated Merri-bek residents and community group members worked with Council Officers to develop a framework to help us monitor progress and if we need to, adjust the strategy actions to make sure we stay on track to achieve the strategy goals.