Fitzroy Community Food Centre

ASC hands for cook bookFitzroy Community Food Centre (FCFC)

The Fitzroy Community Food Centre brings people together around food. The projects offered through the kitchen help people to access fresh food, learn about growing and preparing food and also provide opportunities to share food in a spirit of conviviality. The FCFC addresses issues of food security, healthy food education and skill building, social isolation, multicultural understanding, food waste and community connectedness.

Cultivating Community, with funding from the Lord Mayors Charitable Trust and the Fitzroy Office of Housing, coordinates the management of the kitchen, supports and encourages a variety of groups to use the kitchen including social enterprises and also runs weekly cooking programs in the space. The kitchen has two wicking beds in the community garden for herbs and seasonal vegetables and composts all food scraps through the community garden.

The kitchen is nestled next to the Fitzroy Community Garden. This under croft space was redeveloped into a simple and beautiful community kitchen facility in late 2012. The ceiling-to-floor windows bring the garden right into the kitchen, creating an inspiring and delightful space to prepare and share food, as well as providing a tangible sense of the seasons and where our food comes from! Cultivating Community has a vision to continue to expand the space and concept into a fully fledged Community Food Centre.

The FCFC will be an enormous asset to both the residents of the Atherton Gardens Estate and the wider Fitzroy community, increasing access to fresh food, providing opportunities for skill and knowledge development, contributing to behaviour change around healthy and sustainable food, reducing social isolation, boosting the local economy, increasing community connectedness and wellbeing and playing a key role in the regeneration of the estate.

This innovative concept will create the first centre of its kind in Australia and is consistent with the area’s Master Plan imperatives including providing opportunities for social renewal and reducing the stigma of public housing. The project will be rolled out in phases, some of which are currently unfunded. For more details on the future of the FCFC please read the Project Report. This report includes a project plan from 2014 until 2017 detailing what will be required to achieve the FCFC vision. It includes proposed developments to the site, ongoing staffing, budgetary requirements and avenues for funding, and movement towards a self-sustaining model.

The kitchen is available to local groups and individuals to use regularly, or for one-off events. For more information, please contact or 94293084.

After School Cooking Program

On Wednesday afternoons the kitchen bursts into life as 12 kids mostly from Fitzroy Primary School and the Atherton Gardens Estate get down to chopping, mixing, baking and preparing a two course feast based on fresh, seasonal, simple, delicious and affordable dishes.  A team of dedicated volunteers and a project worker from Cultivating Community work with the children to prepare the meal, instilling vital life skills without the children really noticing, they just love to cook!  The menu also reflects the tastes and cultures of the children who love to suggest favourites from home including Somali Malawah pancakes and avocado milkshakes.  Once the meal is prepared, everyone sits down at the long table to share in the food and compliment each other on the various elements – it can get pretty chaotic but somehow a wonderful meal always emerges on the table! One mother recently came to the kitchen to thank the team relaying that she had been very worried about her child who never used to eat however since she’s been coming to cooking she’s completely changed and is now keen to try new things and pretty much eats everything!

If you are interested in volunteering for this program, please contact or 94293084.

Meet & Eat

Meet & Eat is a weekly community lunch program run by Cultivating Community in partnership with Cohealth Community Health Centre at the FCFC. The lunch is free and open to anyone who wants to join in.  Participants can come and help prepare the food or just come along to share the lunch. The group also discusses local initiatives, services and issues to help participants get a better sense of what is available in their local community.  Starting in October 2015, this relatively new program has had a great start with a diverse group of participants all keen to share their cultural cuisines – the lunches have so far featured Turkish, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian and Afghani dishes, we can’t wait to see what’s on the menu next!

If you would like to join us for lunch, please contact or 94293084

dumplings coco

Support Us

If you would like to support the development of the Fitzroy Community Food Centre, please visit our Donation Page.

We would like to thank our generous sponsors The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services (Fitzroy) and the City of Yarra for grants that help support our Fitzroy Community Food Centre programs.