Slow Food Hunter Valley is one of 15 Australia-wide businesses to receive a share in $148,500 in grants as part of the Future2Foundation Make the Difference.
Located in Maitland, Slow Food rescues good food that is destined for landfill and transforms it into nutritious meals for distribution to those in need within the LGA.
On average, the team produces 400 meals a week, 45 weeks a year.
The grants were awarded to grassroots community programs supporting Australians experiencing social, financial, or physical hardship.
This year’s Make the Difference program attracted a record number of applications after it expanded the criteria to welcome applications for programs that support Australians of any age rather than restricting support to individuals between the ages of 12 and 25.
“We were blown away by the applications and by how important each of the causes are to the nominators,” Future 2 chair Julie Berry said.
“Congratulations to the 15 recipients. We are excited to see the impact of the grants in action to better the lives of the hundreds of Australians who are experiencing social, financial or physical hardship.”
Make the Difference is Future2’s flagship fundraising initiative aimed at supporting small community causes across Australia.
All financial services professionals are invited to nominate causes that are meaningful to them for a chance to receive funding of up to $10,000.
This year’s nominations were aimed at causes that help Australians in need through:
- Education, including financial literacy, skills training, and leadership development;
- Engagement, including mentoring and juvenile justice programs;
- Employment, including work experience and job readiness training;
- Wellbeing, including mental health programs and support services; and
- Independent living and social inclusion.
In 2023, Future2 also announced the launch of the People’s Choice Award in partnership with AIA Australia.
Within the category, community members were asked to vote for one of the 15 causes selected to receive an additional $5,000 to go towards amplifying the impact of their program.
Winners will be announced after voting closes on 13 December.
Newcastle-based Youth Accountability Project was also awarded funding for its Impact Board Program.
The project challenges the harm that systems inflict on successive generations of young people by empowering young people aged seven-plus, who might previously been neglected by existing systems.
It also enables youth to lead engagement, design and co-create youth-led accountability mechanisms that hold systems to account for their role in young people’s lives.
“The Youth Accountability Project is a pioneering systems change initiative that is redefining and driving accountability to young people,” says Tasha Ritchie.
“We would like to share our genuine gratitude for the support of Future2 and our nominator Larry Fingelson for their contribution to our work and for backing young people to lead systems change.
“The funds from the Future2 grant will go towards supporting our Impact Board (young people from across NSW) to lead conversations in their communities, and create Australian- first youth-led accountability mechanisms”.
Future2 has committed $1.6 million in grant funding to over 150 community programs since 2007.
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