The Merri-bek Food Leadership Action Group (FLAG) formed in early 2022 to support a Collective Impact approach to increasing food security in Merri-bek.

The FLAG are a group of passionate and skilled Merri-bek food leaders who are leading the implementation of the Merri-bek Community Food Hub. Council has engaged consultants Open Food Network to support the backbone organisation functions of the FLAG.

Benefits of the structured collaborative approach of the FLAG include:

  • Decisions / actions based on a deeper understanding of the needs across our diverse community
  • Shared / more efficient use of resources and less double up of food security effort
  • Strengthened food security network
  • Reduced data collection / reporting burden on individual stakeholders AND
  • More comprehensive and consistent evidence of the benefit of Community Food Hub activities, attracting greater support and funding
Members in non-funded positions are compensated for their contribution as content experts, if in non-funded representative positions, which equates to a time commitment of around 3 hours per month.

How was the FLAG formed?

In November 2021, Council called for FLAG applications through the Merri-bek local food networks and community stakeholders identified during the Community Food Hub feasibility study

Applications were sought from community food leaders interested in working with food security groups and advocates to implement a community food hub and be part of a collective food justice movement in Merri-bek.

Successful applicants from the first round as well as a second call-out in September 2022 have formed Merri-bek's first Food Leadership Action Group.

FLAG members will work with the Community Food Hub support contractor appointed by Council to:

  • Develop the FLAG governance structure and processes;
  • Build on the Community Food Hub Feasibility Report outcomes and recommendations to develop a vision, strategy and business case for the implementation of the Community Food Hub;
  • Contribute to development of the Collective Impact Measurement Framework (CIMF) to help the FLAG make smart, data-driven decisions and enable accurate observation and successful interventions;
  • Provide oversight for funding allocation to community food enterprises and organisations in Moreland in a strategic way to build the business case for the implementation of the Community Food Hub
  • Mobilise funds for the implementation of the Community Food Hub and;
  • Other responsibilities as detailed in the Food Leadership Action Group brief