The Geelong region is set to flourish with the establishment of new community gardens, which support local and sustainable food production.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an increase in the number of people interested in growing their own food, to become less reliant on supply chains and connect meaningfully with other community members.
The City will develop guidelines that will assist in finding suitable land and support the investigation of potential partnerships for community groups and individuals with other organisations. This will see community gardens set up in a more consistent and streamlined way.
Increasing the number of community gardens in Greater Geelong is seen as a sustainable long-term solution to rising food insecurity, allowing people to inexpensively grow their own fresh produce. It has the potential to reduce the burden on emergency food relief services.
A key priority of the Sustainability Framework Action Plan 2020-2022 is to support community wellbeing and social equity through improving food security, by supporting local production and sustainable systems.
Tending to a community garden is recognised as a positive social outlet that can lead to new friendships and improved mental health outcomes. This activity supports healthy eating and encourages community members to learn new skills, such as composting.
The City of Greater Geelong has a $20,000 funding allocation from the latest round of COVID-19 community support measures set aside for this initiative.
City of Greater Geelong CEO Martin Cutter
Challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic have led to many community members being interested in growing their own produce, becoming more self-sufficient and safely connecting with new people outdoors.
The City is excited to encourage and support residents who are keen to set up a community garden through this initiative, which will lead to increased social cohesion and improved food security.
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