Fair Food has 67 Food Hosts across Melbourne Food. It's really quite a strange concept when you think about it; somebody sharing a space at their homes for others (read complete strangers - at first anyway) to pick up their shopping from. Food Hosts make our strange but effective food distribution system work, without them Fair Food doesn't function, plain and simple. So we have to look after our Food Hosts and to that end I'd like to share my guide to caring for your local Food Host.
When you're picking up and you see your Food Host, say, "Hi" and introduce yourself.
Respect your Food Host's boundaries. Walking into your Food Host's kitchen, helping yourself to a glass of wine and starting up a personal conversation is generally frowned upon (unless they're also a close relative or an old friend and even then...). Stick with the groceries first and let any relationship develop naturally.
If you are running late or forget to pick up your groceries, text your Food Host to let them know what's happening and work out a convenient time to pick up. Remember Food Hosts worry about non-pick-ups and hate seeing good food going to waste.
If you are a serial box forgetter, consider going for a home delivery. Home delivery happens on Wednesdays and costs a very reasonable $6.75 to most Melbourne addresses.
A tip to newcomers and those sending an uninitiated friend or loved one to pick up an order that includes refrigerated items - don't take the whole communal esky, it generally causes dairy and soy product chaos and takes a lot of detective work to reunite people with their missing milk etc.
If your order isn't at your Food Host, don't be tempted to take someone else's, just call or email Sue or Hema at Fair Food and they'll have your missing order delivered directly to you within 24 hours.
When you return your boxes for recycling - flat-pack them and put them out of harms way in a neat stack.
And once in a while when you see your Food host tell them, "Thanks" and perhaps at Christmas a small card would be nice or maybe even some flowers or a pannetone, they're pretty good too.
If you have any stories about your Food Host - please share them with us so we can share them with others.
Clifroy Community Bank has done something really special.
In case you missed last week's Sunday email I wrote about the crowd-funding campaign Fair Food is launching this Friday to buy new front-end and back-end software (is anybody else uncomfortable with that term?) for our website. To cut to the chase we're raising funds for software that lets shoppers swap items out of set fruit and veg boxes, get next day deliveries, shop by recipe, chose returnable, reusable grocery crates and eskies and much more. It's the things we've been asking for for years. My hope is that it'll make it easier for more people to use Fair Food, which means we'll be buying more food from our farmers and grocery makers, providing more first jobs for asylum seeks, opening more Food Hosts and donating more profits to environmental education programs at CERES.
Well that was last week, this week we have some really wonderful news. Our friends from Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy Community Bank (aka Clifroy) came up with an idea that helps get our campaign off to the best possible start - which is apparently very important for successful crowd-funding. The lovely Clifroy Community Bank people have offered to match, dollar-for-dollar, the first $5000 Fair Food raises for this project! It is an amazingly generous gesture and Fair Food really appreciates the support, especially coming from a local community owned business. I'm a bit choked up writing this. I'd also like to say thanks to Clifroy Community Bank board member, Yann Burden, for putting in so much work to make this happen.
Monday midday cut off for Tuesday and Wednesday deliveries
We know that as these school holidays end you may've been torn away from somewhere lovely and relaxing. Possibly just at the very time you'd decided that you really could leave your life in Melbourne and live here by the beach or in the country. And this morning you could have been packing up and then stuck in traffic and then unpacking and facing going back to work and the kids to school and you might have lost a sandal and your cool and you just want a holiday to recover from it all (I don't know, that all could just be me). Anyway, in this post holiday fug sometimes it's all a bit much to remember to put your Fair Food order in, so this week we're pushing back tonight's cut-off for Tuesday and Wednesday deliveriesto midday Monday.
Have a great week
CERES Fair Food's weekly update with stories from our farmers and producers, Food Hosts, the Fair Food warehouse and theworld at large.