Milparinka has established a free food cupboard/pantry at the front of our Brunswick Site.

Some of you may know about the Annie Borat food cupboard. It was a food cupboard/pantry in Brunswick that provided free food for people in our community who needed it. The people who established this pantry are moving and the cupboard can’t stay where it is. We know many people are struggling at present and it would be extremely disappointing for such a valuable resource to be lost to people in our community who need help with food.

Milparinka is taking the existing Annie Borat cupboard (renaming it as the Albert St Food Cupboard) and setting it up at our Brunswick site. This is something we have been thinking about for a while and when this opportunity came up it was hard to resist. The cupboard will be managed through the SEEDS garden.


It provides 24 hour community access, for people who need it, to donated non-perishable foods and fresh produce, as well as essential personal care items. We are not inventing anything new here.  Food Cupboards are in place all around the world and increasingly in Australia. They are based on the “food is free” movement which is a worldwide initiative that aims to provide opportunities for sharing food with people who are experiencing food insecurity and hardship. It is supported by the practice of “Take what you need, leave what you can”. It also gives us a new way of sharing food grown  in our SEEDs Communal Garden.

We want to be sure that we are offering people quality food so one of the things we are adding to the cupboard, that wasn’t needed before because it was in a shaded location, are light reflecting panels and a roof. This will keep the cupboard at a temperature that doesn’t allow food to be overheated.



  1. We are a community agency that gets lots of support and has many connections with our local community. We know that there are lots of people in need at present and one of the things that some people need help with is access to food. And we should provide what support we can… because we can.
  1. We are constantly looking for opportunities for people who we support to find valued roles. While many people we support may not be able to engage in full time employment they still want to contribute and have roles that add value and impact. The Community Cupboard is another opportunity we now have to create these roles. There are jobs in checking the cupboard daily to make sure it is clean and old food is removed, restocking with new food, checking of use by and best before dates, collecting donations. Some of these roles involve meeting and talking to people and some are straight forward hands on jobs.
  1. I know a whole lot of people who are the recipients of other peoples support, good will and caring. Its terrific to know that so many people are there to reach out and offer help but its good when there is reciprocrocity, where people we support can make a difference in somone elses life.  It doesn’t matter about peoples capacity; if you are able to do something good for someone else, it is a good thing to do and it can bring satisfaction to anyone. I know lot of people we support who already take part in activities and moments in time where their generosity of spirit contibutes to someone elses life being better or having more opportunity in it. This cupboard adds more opportunities for people we support to impact on other peoples lives. Some people we support  may want to drop off some food to the cupboard, others will take on roles in the work needed to keep the cupboard going and some others will just be happy about it because they know they are part of a community organisation that is making a difference for others.

Donations of food for this sort of cupboard come from lots of places. Sometimes  it is donations from a regular place such as a shop or community group, other times it is just people who have some food to spare. Some people specifically buy some small things to contribute when they go shopping and certainly some fresh produce will come from our garden. If you want to donate some food items you can put it straight into the cupboard or leave it the office at our Brunswick or Richmond sites. Before you donate anything please check below to see what we can and cannot accept.

If you want to follow what is  happening with the Albert St Community Cupboard a bit more closely you can do that by following this link – Or maybe you know of an organisation in the community that might like to be involved or donate to the cupboard, these suggestions can be emailed to Jo –