This is a strange time for many. If you find yourself financially stressed or uncertain about what tomorrow may bring, then please don’t let this email add to your woes, simply enjoy reading our end-of-financial-year update.
If, however, some of the COVID-19 Government support packages such as free childcare or JobKeeper, have found you with more disposable income than you normally might have at the end of the financial year, then please consider supporting the ongoing work of Sustainable Table.
Our organisation can’t neatly package up what your donation will do. It won’t buy a goat or build a school, there are other incredible charities already doing that… What we’re working towards is so large and so hard to quantify that it can sometimes be overlooked. Our food system and the complexity of the issues we seek to positively influence, are akin to climate change – in fact, they are so intertwined, it is impossible to tackle one without the other.
And like climate change, there isn’t a simple and immediate solution, but if we do not speed up the pace at which we try to affect change, then life as we know it will be lost forever. Sounds dramatic, but we are deadly serious.
Your tax-deductible donation, however small, is what allows Sustainable Table to juggle its many projects, on a shoestring (more info on our important food system work below).
Without you, we’d be like a garden without sun. We may have the soil, the heritage seeds, the rich compost and water tanks. But with no sun we simply cannot grow. It sounds a bit corny but you, our friends, are literally our glorious sun!
Your donation lets us know that our work is making a difference, that we are valued. Your donation supports us to not only fight for a fair food system, but also find practical solutions to the challenges we face to continue growing food in a way that restores our environment, treats farmers fairly, makes healthy food more accessible and equitable and reduces animal suffering.
If you would like to learn a little more about what we’ve been up to this year, please read on.
As always, thank you!
PS. Sustainable Table is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia.
Mt Martha Farmers’ Market
Sustainable Table launched our first ever Farmers’ Market in Mt Martha thanks to a Pick My Project grant, awarded by the Victorian Government. We set out with a strong ethos around reducing waste and supporting a more localised and fair food system and are very proud to have stood true to our aims.
Last year, we prevented 4,000 litres of waste from ending up in landfill by implementing a zero-waste approach at our markets.
We launched in November 2019, and whilst we are currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, we hope to be back up and running by September should council regulations and funding allow.
Ripe For Change
This year, Ripe for Change entered its third year and expanded its list of philanthropic partners and purpose. What started as a place-based community grants program to support food system innovation, has developed into a powerful connector and collaborator. For example, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we were in close contact with many of our small-to-medium sized peri-urban food producers and were able to compile their concerns and challenges into a letter to the Victorian Government to help influence what a post-pandemic food system response may look like.
We are also moments away from awarding our next round of local food system grants, to the value of $130K, to enable groups and organisations to test innovations and continue programs that improve food literacy, food access and distribution, regenerative agriculture and more. Watch this space for the official announcement of funded programs
Education, advocacy and behaviour change
We continue to deliver information and events that make it more achievable for people to eat ethically and live with purpose. Throughout the year we have loved hosting events and guest speakers, presenting workshops and developing important content, whilst connecting with you all via social media.
Just a few of our most popular posts and pages include:
Last, but by no means least, we have quietly formalised a few partnerships to support the work of other incredible groups and organisations:
Open Food Network
A big shout-out to the crew at Open Food Network (OFN), a social enterprise online marketplace that makes it easy to shop online and buy locally grown food, direct from farmers. The dedicated team have been burning the midnight oil to support hundreds of farmers, farmers’ markets and food enterprises to start selling online and distribute food safely throughout the pandemic we find ourselves in. Because they are 100% open source and for-purpose, everything is reinvested in supporting farmers to build fair supply networks. We are delighted to have partnered with OFN to support them to access funding and expand and improve their offering.
Mt Martha House Community Garden
A dedicated group of Mt Martha locals have a dream to establish a community garden, not far from the site of our beloved farmers’ market. These very people were often the same faithful farmers’ market volunteers and shoppers, so a partnership came naturally. We look forward to working more closely, to turn this dream into a reality!