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Ripe for Change is a place-based community grants program delivered by Sustainable Table, in partnership with founding philanthropic partners, Morris Family Foundation and Garry White Foundation. It was designed to improve our food-system and deliver enhanced health, employment and sustainability outcomes for the population and environment.

Ripe for Change began in 2017-18, following an in-depth review of local food-system challenges in Victoria. This revealed the key leverage points where philanthropic engagement could have the most meaningful impact at a community level.

Taking a ‘place-based’ approach has proven an effective way to empower community-led solutions. Since inception, Ripe for Change has developed deep connections within Casey, Cardinia, and the Mornington Peninsula, which forms a highly productive region of Victoria’s foodbowl. Over $330,000 has now been awarded in food-system grants; strong relationships have been formed; and Ripe for Change has evolved into a powerful connector in the region.

Excitingly, planning is now underway to replicate this successful model in North Queensland (Mackay-Whitsundays).

Learn more about our Grant Recipients.


If you would like to better understand the Ripe for Change program and the philosophies that underpin it, then this video is a must! It features four of the twelve projects that received funding as part of our 2017-18 pilot program.

Proudly produced by – The Pearl Film Company

Impact Areas.

At the conclusion of the 2019 Ripe for Change Community Grants round, we engaged 30 key local stakeholders to further reflect food system needs within our Impact Areas. These Impact Areas guide project selection and continue to support philanthropic collaboration.

These Impact Areas are being used to ensure that a cross-section of groups who drive food system improvements are represented in the granting process.

It is a requirement that your Project falls under one or more of these four Impact Areas:


Farming for Regeneration & Resilience

Nature is integral to food production; with soil, water, bees, insects and other flora and fauna all providing essential ecosystem services. With increasing threats such as urbanisation, environmental degradation, pollution and the added challenge of climate change, there is urgent work to be done to build the security of our future food supply whilst protecting biodiversity and regenerating the land.

Project examples

  • Regional on-farm biodiversity planting to encourage and protect food pollinators and beneficial organisms facing increasing environmental threats.
  • A program that supports local farmers to transition to regenerative farming by building soil health and adopting climate sensitive practices that encourage biodiversity and help to sequester carbon.


Innovative Enterprises

Many groups striving to improve the local food system are exploring or expanding innovative business models that ensure healthy and sustainable food is available and accessible to all. Farmers are leading the charge to transform our food system, yet they face many barriers including; access to land, water, customers and the training to maintain a viable business. We understand that innovation, testing new business models and accessing enterprise training may not be achievable without increased capacity and funding to do so.

Project examples

  • Establishing new models of land ownership/trust/lease to encourage a new generation of farmers who have not inherited land.
  • Exploring improved ways to support new/existing local food distribution and access i.e. food delivery, hubs, markets.


Nutritious & Local Food for All 

The food system should provide everyone with access to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food, grown in an ecologically sound way; however, Australians experiencing disadvantage face greater barriers of affordability and access. We believe that increasing food literacy, equipping people with the skills to embrace a healthier way of eating and helping people to experience stronger connections to each other through food, improves community wellbeing, health and food security.

Project examples

  • Engaging community members in workshops and programs to increase food skills, food growing capacity and knowledge.
  • New food access models that address the possible stigma associated with food relief, so that everyone is given the opportunity to shop and eat with dignity.


Mobilised Communities

Social movements and people power are the catalyst for systems change. Engaging with the broader community, educating people and inspiring action-based solutions is an integral part of galvanising communities and improving our food system. We seek to support projects undertaking this important work at a grassroots level.

Project examples

  • A regional program or event that encourages participation in activities relating to climate change impacts, food bowl threats or food systems change.
  • Advocating for change of local policies and planning to increase community access to local, healthy and nutritious foods.
  • Community education programs that inspire local food engagement and support e.g. pollinator education program, behaviour-change campaign, community food production.

Dates to remember.

Applications open
Monday 23 March 2020

Applications close
Friday 24 April 2020, 12pm (midday)

Grants allocated by
June 30 2020

Acquittal reports due
Friday 29 May 2021

Late applications will not be accepted

Eligibility criteria and conditions of funding.


  • Funding applications of no more than $10,000 will be accepted, unless prior approval has been sought by the Grants Team. This grant is primarily for grassroots projects that need a little helping hand, however, if you have a big bold idea that you’d like to discuss we’d still love you to get in touch.
  • If you can illustrate collaboration between groups to achieve a bigger impact, then it is possible that a larger funding request, split between the collaborating parties, would be considered. Contact our Grants Team to discuss.
  • Projects must be based in, or work with communities based predominately in the Mornington Peninsula, Casey or Cardinia municipalities.
  • The primary focus of your project must fall under one or more of the Ripe for Change Impact Areas.


  • Not-for-profits, charities, schools or community groups (DRG status not mandatory).
  • If you are a business or individual and would like to apply, you must be able to illustrate a clear environmental benefit or social purpose. If you are unsure whether you or your business qualifies, please contact our Grants Team before preparing your application.


  • Projects for private benefit
  • Projects that are party political in nature
  • Endowment funds
  • Projects that are not located in or predominantly working with communities in the region covered by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Cardinia Shire or City of Casey.


  • Projects must commence within 3 months of the allocation of funds.
  • Funds must be acquitted on the project as described in the application, within 11 months of receipt of funds.
  • Acquittal reports are due on Friday 29 May 2021, unless prior arrangements have been made with Ripe for Change.

Application form and useful resources.


If you would like to download a sample PDF of our electronic application form, click here. Please note, only online applications will be accepted.


Acknowledgement of country.

We wish to acknowledge the multiple Traditional Owners of the land and sea areas across which we work, and pay our respects to their resilience, stewardship and deep knowledge of country, and their leaders past, present and emerging. We also wish to acknowledge that words are insufficient to support the ongoing struggle for truth telling and justice by our first nations people. That it is beyond time for deep listening, solidarity and active support, and this shapes our intention, and attention, in developing our programs.

We need to talk about food.

We’re currently facing serious and urgent issues impacting our food system. We’ve put together a snapshot below…


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Our food system supports and impacts every living system on earth. Without a healthy environment and healthy communities we cannot produce enough food. Without food there is no life. The time to act is now.

The current situation looks 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 now facing.

We know there are incredible people out there undertaking important work to improve our food system – we want to find these people and work with them to amplify the difference they are already making. Is that person you or your organisation?  If so, please chat to us about applying for a grant.


Our incredible partners.

Ripe for Change has been made possible by some incredible people and foundations. We are thrilled to be welcoming even more partners in 2020, thus increasing the impact of our place-based community grants program. Without these committed groups literally putting their money where their mouth is, we would not have a grants program to celebrate, so thank you once again x


Morris Family Foundation
Garry White Foundation
William Buckland Foundation
Bloomberg VOI
The Andrews Foundation
Small Giants

Contact us.

Jodi Clarke
Program Manager (Vic)
Available Monday & Wednesday

 0402 826 479

Tegan McBride
Program Manager (Mackay-Whitsundays), 
Available Monday-Wednesday

0402 853 903

Cassie Duncan
General Manager, Sustainable Table
Available Monday-Thursday

0403 227 281

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