Fresh local food delivered to your desk
When first approached about supporting Food Connect by subscribing to a weekly box of fruit and vegetables, I knew this was an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is (literally) and support a social enterprise that provides locally grown (within 250 km of Sydney) organic and chemical free produce direct to the consumer.
In addition Food Connect supports local famers and employs people who have been excluded from the labour market. And so I became a Food Connect subscriber and started my journey to becoming a Food Connect devotee.
Food Connect Sydney and Food Connect Brisbane are social enterprises that have historically received support from SVA through our social enterprise development programs. SVA Sydney office subsequently became a ‘city cousin’ which means we now are the pick-up point for city based subscribers. A clever low cost distribution idea which has the added benefit of creating a Food Connect community.
Before I experienced Food Connect I must admit to some reservations:
How could I possibly get the fruit and veg home? Did I really want to have a varied box of produce selected by someone else? What would I cook for dinner if I hadn’t selected my shopping according to my recipes? (Yes I’m a culinary control freak). What if there were things in the box I didn’t like? And when I go on holiday what happens then?…
But the folk at Food Connect made it all so easy – the amount of produce in a small box fits nicely into a recycled shopping bag and is easy to carry home. The produce is varied and each week comes with a handy flyer with recipe suggestions and interesting food facts – more available on their website. They even suggest you use Stephanie Alexander’s wonderful cookbook which groups recipes by food type and allows you to create delicious and inventive meals from the contents of the box – even my partner has gotten into the act and gets as excited by a new use for silver beet as he used to by a visit to Bunnings. It’s easy to order extra items each week, suspend delivery if you are going away, change from weekly to fortnightly delivery or even monthly if that suits. Subscribers are kept informed of changes to delivery schedules, renewals etc via email and text message – easy and efficient. And if there are things in your box you really do not like, Food Connect has invented the concept of the swap box – swap things you don’t need or want or even leave produce from your own garden in the swap box for others to enjoy.
I have discovered consuming locally grown, seasonal food is not only good for our environment (transport costs reduce as does our carbon footprint) but it’s beneficial for our health as well and food in season tastes better too. We are meant to eat seasonally – delicious slow cooked root vegetable casseroles, warming soups and comforting cauliflower cheese in winter, while fresh salads and strawberries are the order of the day as the weather warms up.
So reservations gone, a full fridge of farm fresh produce each week, inventive cooking back on my domestic radar – and healthier to boot – not to mention supporting local farmers, the broader community and the environment.
What’s not to like about Food Connect?