CERES Annual Appeal 2021
Caring for the Mother Tree

By lunchtime today our voracious cereal-eating sons had cleaned us out of milk, again.

I grab my bag and wander down to CERES Grocery.

Brunswick East is quiet but inside CERES is alive with people.

I walk down Lee St; out front of the Learning Centre a couple are basking on a rock,  a family on bikes cruise past me on the dam and down in the play space I spy some kids climbing on top of the giant millipede.

Outside CERES Grocery a COVID-spaced crowd mills around waiting for coffee and toasties, manager Beck Morley says it’s been extra busy all weekend.  

In times of trouble we seek sanctuary and in weeks like these CERES, more than ever, feels like a Mother Tree.

Mother Trees are the glue that hold forests together; through nutrients shared via networks of underground roots and aerosols launched from leaves they nurture saplings and provide food, medicine, shelter and comfort for birds, animals, insects and people.

Each year more and more school, community groups and people are drawn to CERES, wanting to fall in love with the Earth, to grow good food, keep bees, make cheese, preserve or swap surpluses, find veggies, fruit trees, giant millipedes or just a sanctuary for the soul.

I have lost count of the number of times I have shown a visitor the multiverse of life nurtured under CERES’ canopy and heard them exclaim, “We need a CERES in our community!”

As always this month when the frost arrives the CERES Mother Tree asks the people who love her to make a winter offering to help keep her spirit alive and flourishing. 

You can find the link here.

Packing Open Table food relief parcels
Paying it forward  

This week we reached a milestone – well you reached a milestone.

This week your pay-it-forward donations, helping Open Table and their partners Cultivating Community and Yarra Libraries provide fresh food for disadvantaged Melbournians, passed the $20,000 mark.

Open Table are a very small, mostly volunteer organisation – $20,000 makes a huge impact to their food relief and food rescue work.  

A blown-away Ange O’Toole, Open Table’s CEO, sent through this message:

Dear Fair Food Crew,

What an amazing milestone, the generosity of your customers is incredible!

You have helped us deliver fresh produce, bread and pantry staples (books too!) for vulnerable people during and post lockdown. 

Since you began supporting us in October 2020 we have distributed more than 5,000 fresh food parcels. 

We’ve also been able to rescue over 18 tonnes of fresh food from going to landfill. 

Here a couple of comments that people have shared:

“The food you share with us allows us to cook with our cultural flavours. This is very good. Fresh food gives us choice and allows us to enjoy eating.”

“Your service is very, very helpful, especially during this hard time. I use the food to cook meals for my family.”

We give our thanks to everyone at CERES Fair Food for all their support! Your donations have helped keep the fresh food flowing to those who need it.

Have a great week

Chris

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