New Grow Cook Share Food Hub project to strengthen local food system 

A new community based project that aims to increase the amount of locally grown and made, healthy and culturally appropriate food within our region, was launched by Bendigo Foodshare today. 

The new Grow Cook Share Food Hub project is a three year (2022-2025) VicHealth $650,000 funded project to invest in an inclusive, accessible and inspiring local food system. 

Bendigo Foodshare’s Community Engagement Manager, Bridget Bentley said the charity was setting up and trialling new activations within the Bendigo community to make locally grown food more accessible and affordable. 

“We are working with local producers, young people, and our multicultural communities, to grow, cook, share and sell food and to showcase our amazing food culture,” Ms Bentley said. 

“We’re committed to meeting our community where they’re at, which means connecting with key places within our community, such as Golden Gums Farm, The Old Church Growers Market, Peppergreen Farm, and at schools and community houses.”

Through the project funding Bendigo Foodshare has employed two youth officers and has begun growing its own food at Golden Gums Farm in Strathfieldsaye. 

“We’re already distributing our fresh produce in a number of ways. It’s being sold at supermarket prices through the local Old Church Growers Market, given out through Bendigo Foodshare’s food relief network and it’s being served on the plates of customers in Bendigo restaurants and cafes who value local produce,” she added. 

Ms Bentley continued by saying that support and engagement from the community was important to the project’s success. 

“We know we can’t do this alone and that our Food Hub must be owned and loved by our community,” she said. 

“We are thrilled to be working in a community that strongly believes in a connected, sustainable and equitable local food system, demonstrating this with strong leadership and action. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to further strengthen Greater Bendigo as a leader in food sustainability. Being Australia’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy, and having a Food Systems Strategy that places our whole community at the centre of the solution.”

Bendigo was selected as one of seven Future Healthy Food Hubs across regional Victoria in an exciting partnership with VicHealth. For more information: