A pilot project undertaken in partnership with the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre (SMRC), to address a rapidly growing reliance on food relief services within Greater Dandenong, Casey, Cardinia, and Kingston local government areas during COVID-19.

The project involves mobilising the community and local businesses to put together 5 varieties of “planter kits” (consisting of planter bags, potting mix, seedlings, fertiliser, and simple growing resources made available in multiple languages). These will be distributed to approximately 200 individuals and families who are experiencing hardship and food insecurity.

The aim of the project is to build the capacity of our local community to grow, harvest, and consume fresh produce at home.

Generous donations were received from Seasol, The Hive- Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well program, Galaxy of Plants, and Food for Change as well as grant funding from City of Casey and City of Greater Dandenong.

In order to help community members continue their food journey beyond the garden and into the kitchen, our Growing Together booklet was developed and included with each pack. Electronic copies are available here.

The teams at enliven and SMRC worked together at The Hive in Braeside Park to pot over 1200 seedling and commence distribution to community members on 22 October 2020, via Cornerstone, SMRC, Wellsprings for Women, and SE Community Links. The second stage of the project will distribute to clients of Casey North and Cranbourne Information and Support Service, and Kooweerup Regional Health Service. 

A private Facebook group for participants was also established to promote a sense of growing together which allows growers to share their stories and tips for success.  Videos and resources are being added to this site on an ongoing basis, including a video to demonstrate how to set up the planters and commence the growing journey.

For more information about this project, including details of how to replicate, please contact Cinzia Theobald cinzia@enliven.org.au