The unmistakable rise in the cost of living on the Sunshine Coast, most notably in housing and food, impacts everyone, especially young families. It’s difficult to find rental accommodation within a limited budget (the average two bedroom home now costs $1,600 per month), and the cost of groceries continues to climb up, up, up. Last year a family of four had to pay an average of $1,000 per month for groceries. It’s no wonder that for lower-income families, buying fruits and vegetables is often considered a luxury.
In this reality, low income working families are having to make difficult trade-offs – apples or chips? Cabbage or chocolate bar? Organic or pesticide residue? When you’re buying in terms of calories per dollar, unfortunately junk food almost always wins out.
In response, some families are maximizing the use of their garden space to grow their own nutritious food, and others are chipping in, creatively.
Buy Art-Feed Kids is a newly formed social enterprise on the Sunshine Coast. Initiated by local artist Dana Caple, its mission is to support young families, especially mothers, by providing them with food vouchers for nutrient dense fruits and vegetables to feed their children. Buy Art-Feed Kids recognizes that more than anyone, newborns, infants and children need nutrients for proper brain function and early
growth and fine motor development to help get them on the right path to live a healthy productive life.
The enterprise provides food vouchers for fresh, healthy, local produce so that kids can get the nutrient dense foods they need. Proceeds go directly to the ‘Bellies and Babies’ program within Sunshine Coast Community Services (serving low income families here since 1974).
Buy Art-Feed Kids invites those who have enough for themselves to buy art from their online gallery at http://buyartfeedkids.com. The first 50 per cent goes directly Bellies & Babies program to help young families bridge the gap. It’s a new model of social enterprise because the remaining 50 per cent earned from the sale of artwork goes back to the artist. What’s new here is that artists, routinely asked to donate their artwork for fundraisers, are being recognized as having to pay the grocer like everyone else.
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