Community’s heart and soul food

Romsey Neighbourhood House manager Michelle Balthazar (front); with volunteers Alex McLeod; Nabo Baro, Michael Lopes and Judith McKayn at the new community foodshare. (Damjan Janevski) 285732_01

Elsie Lange

Tucked between the laundromat and St Mary’s Church in the village of Romsey is a little kiosk full of friendly faces, now home to a new community foodshare.

The project by Romsey Neighbourhood House is about ensuring food access “to the whole community”, because the cost of living is so high.

“We’re inviting the community to be part of the food security solution by being involved in the initiative,” house manager Michelle Balthazar said.

“It’s a buy, swap, sell, take or donate initiative, where if you can afford it, [you can] pay a donation to buy the goods.

“We’ve got a range of fresh and non-perishable items to swap, if people grow an extra row or produce their own fruit or veggies, they’re invited to come along and swap.”

The project is all about ending the stigma associated with needing a hand, and can even help locals generate an income from what they grow.

“If you’re going through hard times, you’re welcome to register to be able to be on a [monthly] credit system to take the fresh produce and non-perishable items,” Ms Balthazar said.

“Help keep the initiative going by helping to donate towards it in either produce, products, or your time. We are hoping that will keep the initiative sustainable.”

The foodshare is open every Tuesday and Thursday, but would welcome more volunteers to stay open all the time.

For enquiries: (03) 5429 6724