Liz,Fair Food's cook who puts recipes together every week, sent through this 99 Reasons Why 2016 Was a Good Year link as a life-line to get me out of the news-feed negativity spiral I had found myself trapped in these last 6 months. It was a long list of affirmative things humanity had achieved this past year - facts like the humpback whale got taken off the endangered species list for the first time in 46 years.
It worked, I needed to be reminded that good things had happened this year, big things. And it reminded me to think of my own reasons why 2016 was a good year:
First just looking across the lunch table at those beautiful people captured in my terrible phone picture above. There were 40 Fair Food crew working in 2016, they came from 15 nations and every day I felt so lucky to come to the warehouse to work with them.
Bonnie Halliday started bringing her salted fudge (Smalt) in a tupperware container to the Fair Food warehouse (life-changing)
Joe Sgro (who every week grows bins and bins of amazing produce for Fair Food customers) was back on board again after his hip op - (we were so worried about you Joe).
Every Wednesday volunteers from Free Feed turned up to at Fair Food to collect produce they turned into free hot meals for Melbourne people experiencing homelessness.
Jean Garita (that's her above), our late mentor's wife, taught passata making for Crowdsaucing Day at Joe's Market Garden.
Fair Food's leading hand, Hassan and his wife, Loula, who were separated for 4 years, (him here in Melbourne and she in a refugee camp in Egypt) welcomed a set of healthy twin boys.
At the beginning of the year farmer Vince at Joe's Market Garden took on Emily as his apprentice. Now at the end of the year he is beginning the process of handing over the farm to her.
The Food Hosts (all 74 of them new and old) who this year went above and beyond the call reuniting stray boxes to their owners, solving "where's my milk mysteries" and just being so friendly, trusting and opening their homes to their neighbours.
And all the customers who sent in poems, hip hop songs, special recipes, gut bacterial transformation stories, who dropped off food for asylum seekers, sang praises or gave constructive criticism - without you there would be nothing, nada, nilch - we owe you everything, thank you.
For all these things and too many others we give thanks, and we give thanks for the chance to do it once again next year.
Forget Xbox go Fbox
Forget Xbox get into Fbox! In week three of our "No Cardboard Box Left Behind Campaign". we're asking for the third time of seven (it's a thing - apparently seven times is the magic number of asking before somebody will take action) to return your Fbox (aka Fair Food cardboard box). We're doing this because we want to cut down on one of Fair Food's biggest energy users - cardboard boxes (it's true).
The response so far has been encouraging, heart-warming and faith rebuilding but we must do more to save as many of those forests of trees and litres of water and kilowatts of energy that go into the tens of thousands of Fair Food cardboard boxes we send out into the world each year.
You can get involved simply by flat-packing your cardboard boxes and leaving them out at your food host or your house for our drivers to pick up (same goes for all the eskys and frozen water bottles, just don't flat-pack them). We'll reuse or recycle all the cardboard in similar way to what ABBA did when they gave the world this song....
Like a bang, a boom-a-boomerang
Oh bang, a boom-a-boomerang
Love is a tune you hum-de-hum-hum
By giving away, I think you'll learn
You'll get love in return
So bang, a boom-a-boomerang is love
A boom-a-boomerang is love