Our mission is to run weekly affordable fresh food markets with a vision to cultivate healthy connected communities.
With the rising costs of living, many Australian households are struggling to put healthy food on the table.
Food security, as defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization, is "when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life". The rate of food insecurity in Australia is around 4%, but is as high 7.2% in some areas.
It is well understood that low level consumption of fruit and vegetables has both social and health implications, affecting physical and emotional well-being. Yet healthy food is often more expensive and less accessible than energy dense and nutrient poor foods (junk food).
In some areas of Victoria only 3% of residents consume the recommended 5 serves of vegetables each day and up to 75% of residents eat take away meals once a week. These alarming statistics correlate with higher than average rates of obesity and type two diabetes.
The Community Grocer aims to address food insecurity by:
- Access: Holding markets in local, convenient locations.
- Cultural appropriateness: Stocking produce that is requested by our customers.
- Affordability: Our prices are 70% cheaper than other fresh food outlets.
- Social Inclusion: Markets provide a space to meet and make friends.
" The Community Grocer is all about food for healthy connected communities. We want a food system that is fair, healthy, equitable and sustainable, and TCG moves beyond traditional welfare models of food access and utilises market settings to address seemingly intractable problems".
Russell Shields, Founder
We are committed to working collaboratively with the community and engaging and welcoming everyone from the community to address these challenges. Building and maintaining strategic connections, collaborative partnerships and multi-stakeholder working groups with local governments, businesses, and community-based organisations is central to our organisational mission. These relationships enable us to reach a large audience; be socially and ethnically inclusive; understand the diverse and unique needs of the community; and be responsive and adaptive to these needs. Learn More
Our markets run almost entirely with volunteers. They are integral to the market and enable us to maintain low prices. Volunteering provides an opportunity to develop skills for the workplace and knowledge of fresh food. It can be important for building confidence, practicing English, and for feeling a sense of social engagement. Learn More