Jesuit Social Services was thrilled to welcome Peter Khalil, the federal member for the Melbourne electorate of Wills, to our Ecological Justice Hub in Brunswick this week.

Mr Khalil visited to congratulate the Hub for being nominated as a finalist in the Premier’s Sustainability Award, as an industry leader in the category of social and economic justice, and to learn more about the Hub’s programs and plans.

The Premier’s Sustainability Award recognises organisations and initiatives that are leading the way in Victoria’s transformation to a circular economy and transition to net zero emissions. This year’s winners will be announced in 23 November.

Our Ecological Justice Hub addresses social disadvantage through ecological means, including by growing and delivering nutritious, local produce to community members in need. Sustainability Victoria, which supports the Sustainability Award, praised its quick response to the sudden need for local food relief.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Hub pivoted to rapidly scale up its existing meal drop program. Through the Working for Victoria program, the Hub employed 15 full-time workers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, to expand our meal drop program that provides healthy meals and grocery packs for local families in need. This work provided nutritious and essential food for the community, and addresses issues of isolation and disconnect within the local area.

Mr Khalil said food relief programs like the Hub’s are more important now than ever, as volunteers continue to ensure the most disadvantaged and isolated members of our communities are nourished, supported, and connected. The Ecological Justice Hub’s food relief program will continue into 2022.