Presidents Report on AGM August 2017

Liberation Larder has flourished in this past year thanks to the combined efforts of our committee, volunteers, sponsors and financial donors. This year has seen a rising public awareness in Australia of food waste and the enormous number of people who experience food insecurity on a daily basis. The Byron Bay community has always been aware and responsive to these issues and this year has gone further to address them.

For Liberation Larder this has translated into practical support for our work.

(a) a donated vegetable plot at The Farm to grow staple veges for our kitchen, outreach service and home support service provides a kilometre of garden beds,

(b) community initiated fund raising events by Beaumont Consulting and Stone&Wood ,

(c) ongoing weekly food donations from Byron Farmers Market plus a financial donation,

(d) recognition as charity of choice for music festivals, Blues, Falls and Splendour in the Grass,

(d) hands on corporate events at The Farm plot,

(e) growing corporate interest and support, so far it has involved presenting to the CBA National Awards Event and their donation to the Farm Plot,

(f) increase in weekly food donations from local restaurants and businesses,

(g) regular food deliveries from Oz Harvest Gold Coast,

(h) increase in social media interest and coverage of the work of Liberation Larder,

(i) success in funding applications locally through Byron Shire Council and Southern Cross Credit Union,

(j) donation of desperately needed storage space by the Hayter Family,

(k) increase in financial donations by individuals and families in our community,

(l) Larder Bakers emerged, its members cook cakes and donate any monies raised from Farmers Market stalls, office morning teas and private orders to the kitchen for ingredients.

This level of support has enabled Liberation Larder to extend its reach in our community. Our volunteers daily work at The Farm plot has enabled a constant supply of fresh, organic vegetables to supplement the rescued produce provided to the kitchen. As a result Liberation Larder was able to provide fresh food to our friends at the Lismore Soup kitchen during the recent floods . It also means we are able to share our food with other local service providers, such as the YAC, Youth House and Mullumbimby Food Bank.

This year Liberation Larder has also provided a weekly service to people who are House Bound. Volunteers deliver boxes to people who are not mobile, generally due to a degenerative illness or in recovery from operations. The boxes include fresh produce, bread , meals and are tailored to individual needs. The service started after requests from local doctors and community nurses.

After years of prudent financial decisions Liberation Larder has been able to embark on a long overdue kitchen upgrade. Stage one and two are complete. Stage one involved a new storage area with metal, food safe shelving. Stage two involved replacement of the existing flooring, food safe coving and repainting. This has been at a cost of $20,000 and generous support from local tradespeople and businesses. Stage three is next and will involve separating the cooking area and wet areas. When complete the kitchen will be o lot more efficient and pleasant to work in. It will also be suitable as a training facility.

This year social media has enabled Liberation Larder to be more responsive and have a more effective presence outside the kitchen. The Liberation Larder Instagram page reaches thousands telling the story of volunteers, customers and sponsors. Our Facebook page enables us to acknowledge food donations immediately. It also provides a platform to show off volunteers work in the kitchen and the beautiful food on offer.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to Liberation Larder since its humble beginnings in May 2009, without you it would not be possible. I would like to acknowledge the outgoing committee for their consistent and valuable work Alice Jarvis, Liz Jackson, Mary Alderman, Sasha Worthington, Rhonda Khong and Vicki Evans. Rhonda has been a great supporter of Liberation Larder over many years, she will not be restanding for the committee but will continue her involvement in other ways. I continue to be grateful to you.

There are lots of exciting challenges and opportunities ahead in the coming year. I look forward to facing them together.

Helen Hamilton

Annual General Meeting

17 August 2017