Midwinter breaks are good for many reasons – for sleep-ins, you get to work on your own garden, you don’t have to respond to emails or read/watch the news, and you get a break from what can sometimes be a whole lot of overwhelm.
Luckily for us just before we took our break a lot of really interesting things happened. We got to chat with the Deputy Premier, Jeremy Rockliff about how politically we could position ourselves for more government attention, we spent time with our Patron, NW Tassie champion and all round good guy and go getter Ben Milbourne who not only filmed an episode of his show Food Lab by Ben Milbourne on site but, we also got some incredibly positive feedback on a couple of products we will be producing for his soon to be open restaurant in Providore Place that is part of the Devonport Living City development. We also spoke in house – the board and volunteers and founder/GM Penelope (me) – about what PttP will look like over the next six months or so.
You may remember we received some funding a while back (now long expended) that saw us deliver 50 + veggie boxes to people in our community who were not only doing it tough, but also had no way of getting to us on The Farm where our food hub is open during the week. We were over subscribed at the get go and fed a lot of people but it did get a little out of hand in terms of the people we were delivering to. Its always going to be a bit of a challenge for us and our “ask no questions” policy but this time we are doing things a little differently.
There will be guidelines as to who we can deliver to, and as this is a self/community funded project we are starting with elders only who have no transport who live in the Burnie+Somerset+Wynyard areas.
But there is a but………
This time we are asking you to help us by donating $25 each month for a minimum 12 months. This money will go towards vehicle costs mostly but also pantry staples to add depth to our boxes. We think this a great way your office or family or service group, or footy club could make a big difference in the life of some of our most vulnerable elders.
We are truly excited about the new incarnation of Produce to the People and hope you will be too.
One of our greatest challenges has always been continuity of funding – or lack thereof. We know we do good work and with the support of the awesome and generous North West Tasmanian community have made a difference to many with our fresh veggie giving.
So, we are making the leap to develop & implement ideas to generate our own money, so that eventually we are no longer beholden to changes in government and the ever increasing pond of community orgs accessing any dollars out there available for food projects.
We are moving into The Farm at Burnie High School where we will be hosting a Work for the Dole program, launching a veggie box scheme that we will be growing for as well as purchasing veggies from local growers. Yes folks, some of those “ugly veg” will be purchased by us and then find a little bit of love in one of our veggie boxes! We will be launching a crowd funding campaign very soon as well.
Of course we will still be a hub for donated produce that will still be available to those who might not be able to find $’s in tight budgets for fresh produce. In fact we are very pleased to tell you that we are growing our relationship with Woolworths and will be gathering via their Fresh Food Rescue program from an additional 8 supermarkets in the North of the State. We will work with orgs in each supermarket area to make sure the produce remains in the local area. (Let’s face it, this food has already travelled far enough!)
So, how can you get involved?
You can come and visit us at The Farm on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday and help out in a volunteer capacity in the garden.
You can donate your home grown veg & we will make sure it goes to someone who will appreciate it
You can purchase a veggie box from us (we will let you know when we are ready to launch this service – we are not quite ready yet!)
You can grow for us and we will negotiate to purchase your harvest
We will be at The Farm almost every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Come say hi!