Health and wellbeing

Food relief for households as cost of living bites

This new grant program is open for applications twice a year.

Box of spinach. First Nations Response pop-up

Food support grants are available for projects that improve access to affordable and healthy food as the cost of living soars.

Part of a new City of Sydney funding program, we’ve awarded $1.5 million in grants to 12 organisations to help get food and essential items to diverse communities over the next year.

The Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown will receive $450,000 over the next 3 years to provide more free, culturally appropriate lunches in a welcoming environment to people seeking asylum.

“Our lunch program does more than just provide meals for those we support. It is a source of contact, connection, and community,” Asylum Seekers Centre CEO, Frances Rush OAM said.

First Nations Response will receive more than $1.2 million over the next 3 years to expand its food relief services beyond Redfern and Marrickville and further establish itself as a sustainable Aboriginal-controlled community organisation.

“First Nations people, families and communities are disproportionately impacted by the current cost of living crisis. Ensuring First Nations peoples have autonomy over how they access food relief is a crucial element of food security planning,” First Nations Response co-founder Coral Lever said.

Plate it Forward will receive just over $100,000 to continue to donate free restaurant quality meals through charity partners to people experiencing food insecurity in the inner city.

“Plate it Forward first started when community leaders requested food support during the pandemic in 2020. The need for food has not subsided, and many in our community are now also struggling with the rising cost of living,” Plate it Forward CEO, Shaun Christie-David said.

Other groups that received grants in the 2023 round of funding include Redfern Youth Connect, OzHarvest and The Wayside Chapel Foundation.

Why we’re doing this

“Local food relief organisations report that demand for food relief is now higher than during the pandemic, with people forgoing food to pay for housing and health services,” Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said.

“We’re supporting a broad range of organisations critical to creating a strong, responsive and collaborative food relief network in the local area.

“We’re funding groups with good local connections who can respectfully supply and distribute emergency food relief to diverse communities, as well as those that need to upgrade existing kitchen and dining facilities so they can continue their work.”

Next grants round opens in February

Food support grant applications are eligible from organisations, individuals and groups that operate in the City of Sydney local area. Applicants must be able to demonstrate significant benefits to residents, workers and/or visitors of the area.

Applications open for the summer round of grants on Tuesday 6 February 2024.

Find out more about funding priorities and eligibility criteria.

Published 10 January 2024