2018 Round 1 Top 6 Finalist

Our Community Pantry

Our Community Pantry’s dream is for all Australians to have access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food.

Our Community Pantry diverts food, household items and fresh produce destined to landfill and makes it available and affordable to its members. 

For a weekly shop, food and products at a grocery store would cost on average $150-$180, but at The Our Community Pantry a similar shop is made available and affordable to members for $24-$30. This saving allows families to focus on other priorities, and means that children are not watching parents struggle to feed the family.

Our Community Pantry was created from the personal experience of its founder, Paula Zrilic, who found herself turning to an agency for assistance to feed herself and her three children after she left a marriage fraught with domestic violence. As she chose to work to rebuild her life and family, she did not qualify for a Health Care Card, which she discovered was necessary to register for support.

According to Foodbank’s Hunger 2017 Report, 3.6 million Australians experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months. Our Community Pantry first opened in 2017 and in that short time its membership has grown to over 500 families, and on average serve 150 families each week. 

 “Our Community Pantry literally saved my life! When I first came to Pantry, I was isolated, I had no family nearby, I was broke, and had been living in my car after experiencing domestic violence and I was suicidal. Now I have a place to live, food to eat and I have family that I get to visit every week when I volunteer here.” Tash.

“I used to be a bus driver and got to talk to people from all different walks of life. When I retired, I struggled. My doctor referred me to Our Community Pantry for something social to do before I lost my mind. It feels great to be a volunteer here. I get to talk to people all day again. Human interaction and connection make me feel great”. Russel.

Sunsuper’s Dreams for a Better World grant will allow us to purchase or hire much needed commercial refrigeration and storage facilities, so that we have space to safely store more food to distribute to our members.

View All Top 6 Finalists

The Sanctuary Project

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Inala Primary Care - Connecting Australian Seniors with Refugees

Our dream is for a community where senior citizens are valued and engaged and refugees are welcomed into their new community.

The Compassionate Friends Victoria

Our dream is to educate health professionals and community workers on the realities of grief and insights on how to best support a bereaved parent or family member.

Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance

Ending energy poverty with free power from the sun

Our Community Pantry

Our Community Pantry’s dream is for all Australians to have access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food.

Greenbatch Foundation

Our dream is to reuse plastic and teach students about recycling with the help of 3D printing.

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