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Promoting health and independence

The Food Distribution Network (FDN) is a fresh food service, delivering quality fruit and vegetables to the frail aged, people living with disabilities and their carers reports Andrew Collis in the South Sydney Herald in November 2009.

The FDN’s 25th anniversary celebration on October 24 was an afternoon of conversation, laughter and fine food. Clients, volunteers and staff (past and present), distinguished guests and representatives from various funding bodies (DADHC, HACC, City of Sydney, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Positive Life and ACON) and community organisations recalled the FDN’s journey from food co-op to not-for-profit organisation, from the heart of the city to Darlington to present home at the Redfern Centre (in Ogden Lane, behind St Saviour’s Church).

Saltwater Murroona woman, Patricia Corowa, gave the Welcome to Country, acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and their commitment to “peace and a sustainable environment”. Ms Corowa offered congratulations to the FDN “for providing not only seasonal, but also affordable, fresh vegetables and fruit to a growing clientele of satisfied customers.”

The FDN serves more than 200 households each week.

Volunteer, Shaun Martin, has been involved for nine years. He works three days per fortnight packing “many boxes”. Mr Martin spoke excitedly about working with other volunteers, and about being part of an organisation that promotes health and independence. “It’s quality produce,” he said. “I’m very grateful for the past 25 years, and I foresee a bigger and brighter future for this very progressive enterprise.”

Mr Martin was quick to praise members of the FDN Management Committee, Treasurer Caroline Hammond, President Louise Fox, and Co-ordinator John Geerligs.

The occasion saw the launch of the FDN Anniversary Calendar, a labour of love by two long-standing project workers, writer/researcher Larry Wellings and artist Phillip Martin, as well as the launch of a documentary film called Food for People not for Profit: A Day in the life of FDN. The film allows a window into the operation of the FDN, from the purchase of wholesale fresh produce at Sydney Markets to packing boxes and home deliveries.

Writer/director, Lara Cassar, expressed appreciation for her co-worker and editor, Brian Acraman. The aspiring filmmaker also spoke highly of Metro Screen. “It’s a great organisation which offers courses, grants, discounted hire of camera equipment, forums and scholarship,” Ms Cassar said. “Metro Screen also organised a test screening of the film, and the feedback was really helpful.”

Copies of the calendar and DVD were distributed, and lucky door prizes awarded – six fabulous boxes of fruit and veges typical of the fresh produce delivered regularly to clients.

Photo: Jill Lay - Tanya Plibersek, John Geerligs, Wayne Lindeman and Mark Ludbrooke