We’re a community led
not-for-profit providing
food security and education.

Building community resilience and environmental awareness by providing education about living sustainably, growing and sharing fresh nutritious food since 2014.

Food Is Free Laneway (305 Ripon St Sth, on cnr of Warrior Place, Ballarat) started on 18th October, 2014 by founder/Director Lou Ridsdale. Inspired by John VanDeusen Edwards (founder of Food Is Free in USA) as well as Ron Finley and other guerilla gardeners. Food is Free Laneway is a magical space for people to drop off, or collect, free nutritious food (veggies, fruit, herbs only) and make neighbourhood connections.

Our vision is to create a food secure, inclusive, sustainable and healthy community. Our mission is to build community resilience and environmental awareness by providing education about living sustainably, growing and sharing fresh nutritious food. Every year, we educate and empower thousands of people, and aim to continually grow what we do. 

Food Is Free Laneway
305 Ripon St South 
Ballarat Central VIC 3350

Food Is Free Green Space
212 Ripon St South, on cnr of Urquhart & Ripon Sts 
Ballarat Central VIC 3350

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What to drop off and how you do it

Here’s a list of items we need plus where you can leave them:

Food Is Free Laneway

Empty Jars & Bottles

Empty jars & bottles for preserving (please leave at the Jars/Bottles recycle station at far end of Laneway – please NO beer or wine bottles, and only jars/bottles with lids – signage at stand will guide you). SEASONAL ONLY – This runs Nov to April annually, and shuts down over cooler months when preserve season is over.

Gardening Pots

All sizes gardening pots (please leave at our pots stand).

Seeds & Seedlings Sharing

Got spare seeds or seedlings?

Gardening Seeds! We love them. Pop them in the Free Seeds Toolbox in the Laneway (or our letterbox). It’s a great thing to save your own garden seeds and donate them to community. It is literally FREE FOOD, and we get very excited about local seed saving. We also need small paper envelopes suitable for seed saving or coin bags/small zip lock bags for our volunteers seeds team to package up seeds to give away Note: we prefer paper please over plastic (please leave in the Letterbox at gate)

Seedings – please leave them on our Free Seedlings Stand next to our side gate. Our visitors love them to plant in their gardens.

Books

Books on gardening/self-sufficiency/crafts/cooking and related topics (please leave in our street library).

Food Is Free Green Space

Food Scraps

Food scraps for composting (please drop into our green Aerobin compost bins along our fence line – signage on bins will guide you but basically anything organic e.g. kitchen scraps – veg/fruit/herbs and plant cuttings, tea bags, coffee grinds, but please NO cheese, dairy, package food, bread, rice, pasta, plastic bags etc).

Egg Cartons

Empty egg cartons (please leave in the Greens Recycle Bins marked EGG CARTONS & TOILET ROLL HOLDERS). If you have time to rip them up, please place direct into our compost bins.

Toilet Roll Holders

Empty toilet roll holders (please leave in the Greens Recycle Bins marked EGG CARTONS & TOILET ROLL HOLDERS). If you have time to rip them up, please place direct into our compost bins.

We also don’t need any extra goods dropped off to our sites other than what is listed on our entrance signs – both sites have them – PLEASE read them to familiarise what we do and don’t want.

Upcoming Events & Workshops

Movement in the garden – how to garden safely
Sun 24 July at
2pm - 3pm
Fruit & Vegetable Watercolours Art Class with Kelsie White
Sun 17 July at
1.30pm - 3.30pm
Beeswax Wrap Making
Sun 31 July at
2pm - 4pm
Small Space Gardening
Sun 3 July at
11am - Noon

Driven by committed volunteers and board members.

We have a team of approx. 70 marvellous volunteers who assist with regular weekly Food Is Free Laneway and fortnightly/monthly Food Is Free Green Space shifts varying from 30 mins up to an hour per session. Duties carried out ensure the health & safety of all our visitors, and tasks include disposing of perished food, general tidying, attending to the jars/bottles and garden pots recycle station, watering our plants, and other gardening tasks. We also have events volunteers who help at our workshops, markets and other activities, plus graphics, arts and crafts volunteers and administrative assistance.

We need your help to grow

Food Is Free Inc. relies on the generosity of the community to sustain itself and gratefully accepts financial donations no matter how big or small. Help us make a meaningful impact in the Ballarat community by donating today!

Make A Donation

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