Small Grants

Ripe for Change is a place-based small grants program supporting healthy and resilient local food systems.
The need for this program was identified through an in-depth review of local food system challenges and advice from industry leaders. Ripe for Change was successfully piloted in the Casey, Cardinia and Mornington Peninsula regions of Victoria in 2017-18. We are currently planning and fundraising to deliver Round Two during 2019-20.


For a short but spectacular overview of what was achieved during the 2017-18 pilot program, please view our celebration video, which features four of the twelve projects that received funding.


Our food system supports and impacts every living system on earth. Without a healthy environment we cannot produce enough food. Without food there is no life.

The time to act was yesterday.

We have summarised the current issues impacting our food system into the infographic below. It’s pretty bleak, but with information comes the power to make a positive difference – Ripe for Change presents one of these opportunities by empowering community action and delivering solutions to the very real and very urgent challenges we are currently facing.


In developing Ripe for Change into a funding model and grants program significant background work was undertaken by the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. This included engaging experts to map our complex food system and determine the key ‘impact areas’ to guide philanthropic engagement and support.

These impact areas also formed the backbone of the Ripe for Change Grants Program, with a commitment to fund projects across each area.

The food system includes many stakeholders and is highly complex, so breaking it into specific focus areas was an important first step to foster inclusion and understanding from both philanthropy and those working within the food system.


1. HEALTHY NATURAL SYSTEMS  |  Nature is integral to food production with soil, water, bees and birds all playing crucial roles in farming. Restoring landscapes and waterways – plus taking into account the new problems climate change is causing – supports nature and helps us grow food. Working on land and across landscapes means working with lots of different stakeholders, planning, educating and taking action.

There are many people working in the food system, striving to provide healthy and sustainable food to Australians through new and innovative, socially-minded business models. These people are leading the charge to transform the food system, but they must be able to operate as viable businesses if they are to grow and thrive. Philanthropy is increasingly considering how different forms of investment, including grants, can be used to support a more holistic approach.

A functioning food system should provide everyone with healthy, affordable food, yet sadly many Australians rely on charities to fill their pantries. Australia’s most disadvantaged people often have the worst diets and are more inclined to experience diet-related health issues, such as diabetes and obesity. Growing fresh food close to where people live helps people to access good, affordable food and re-connects Australians with a key source of health.

Social movements are the catalyst for systems change and there is a growing movement of people and organisations striving for change in Australia’s food system. More and more individuals are becoming engaged with food issues and new initiatives are springing up in response to opportunities people see for creating positive change. When these individuals and initiatives connect up, we have a movement which can work together and achieve more than single initiatives can achieve alone.

For detailed information on the research undertaken and impact areas, please visit:


We are currently seeking funding and new partnerships to deliver Ripe for Change Round Two to extend the work of the pilot program. So far we have secured $100,000 of our $180,000 funding requirement to deliver this next stage. Should we be successful in securing funding we hope to launch the next funding round in early 2019.

If you are interested in supporting the program or would like to learn more, please take a moment to read our Funding Proposal.

Click to download.

For enquires, please contact:

Cassie Duncan  –  General Manager, Sustainable Table   e.   p. 0403 227 281

Jodi Clarke  –  Project Manager, Ripe for Change   e.   p. 0402 826 479

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