I was reading something in the paper this morning about happiness, it came from a famous study that had followed a group of Harvard men for 75 years measuring every aspect of their lives.  The conclusion of over three quarters of century’s scientific effort was that happiness is not related to a successful career or high intelligence or income level or social class.  The answer, rather than one of those exciting paradigm-changing breakthroughs, is more of a mundane, anticlimactic, “we kind of knew that all along,” insight.  Basically how happy we are can be measured by the depth of our relationships.

By nature we are relationship building creatures but our competitive culture encourages us to seek happiness in career success, an ideal body, a desirable home, nice clothes, in that new car feeling.   And it’s often while we’re busy chasing our individual happiness that we accidently find another kind of happiness attending to the distracting obligations thrown up by our “needy” family, friends, workmates and  community.  Needs that require us to give freely without expecting a return, needs that are not always immediately as gratifying or spectacular as a new iPhone.

Deep relationships are like sedimentary rocks; layers of sand and silt laid down again and again deepening imperceptibly over the months and years.  This is the idea behind our Food Hosts – on the surface they’re a place to pick up your food orders and save on delivery costs but underneath they have a deeper purpose, a sedimentary purpose. Someone opens their house to the community and over time layer upon layer of repeated visits to pick-up, occasional smiles, hellos, conversations and small events like helping someone new find their milk in the communal esky, slowly becomes a part of our community bedrock.

There are sixty-seven Fair Food Food Hosts across Melbourne (that’s them in the map above), from the rusted-on Virginia Lowe, in Ormond who has been with us from the beginning to our newest host, Duane who has just joined us in Balaclava, these people have taken that leap of faith and opened their houses to help build that bedrock. And when you go to your Food Host next time just remember there is no obligation to do anything above and beyond adding the odd layer of sediment with a smile, a hello or a considerate flat-packing of your old cardboard box.

Rewiring the Food System Campaign Update

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