Project Description

Society’s biggest challenges won’t be solved by government, not-for-profits or communities alone. Successfully addressing these complex social, environmental and economic challenges requires an ecosystem approach that enables key stakeholders, whole communities, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators to come together and cocreate replicable and scalable solutions.

In 2016, Doing Something Good ran a 10 week accelerator program for ventures and community projects aimed at making Melbourne’s food system healthy, sustainable, secure, resilient and socially inclusive. Building on a program of events that started with the EcoCity Food Forum in 2013, the second Local Food Launchpad program in 2016 worked with 15 participants to develop 11 concepts that hold the potential to improve our food system and build a better food future for the people of Melbourne. This is one of them.

Learn more about the 2016 Local Food Launchpad here. Discover other Local Food Launchpad projects here.

How might we ensure vulnerable families in Melbourne, have access to fresh, healthy food and are able to thrive?

Food Security Design Jam

To overcome our big challenges, we’ve got to get an unfair amount of talent together.

Over 43,000 people seeking food relief each month are unable to be assisted by charities and community groups, 32% of whom are children.

The big issue

Food security in our community is an important issue, with signs of increasing demand for it due to a combination of socio-economic factors as well as macro issues like climate change.

In Australia

  • Foodbank last year distributed 33 million kilos of food and groceries with a retail value of more than $200 million. That’s the equivalent of 166,000 meals a day.
  • 2015 saw an 8% increase in the number of people seeking food relief.
  • Over 43,000 people seeking food relief each month are unable to be assisted by charities and community groups, 32% of whom are children. *

In Victoria

  • Foodbank Victoria alone distributed 9,462,374 kilos of food in 2014-2015
  • Demand is increasing – “31% increase on the year prior” – Dave McNamara, CEO **

* Foodbank/Deloitte Hunger Report 2016
** Foodbank-Victoria-Annual-Report-2014-15

This is important is because it affects a significant number of our population and largely hidden from media coverage. Many of the people affected are ashamed about their circumstances or simply do not have means to have a voice within our community.

The right people with the right skills can make a real difference

We believe that if we can create an opportunity for experts from a diverse range of fields to use their skills and have the possibility to have a meaningful contribution to a big social challenge; then we can design solutions that have a greater chance of being able to solve the problem of food security in Melbourne for the long-term.

Codesigning innovative solutions

The idea would be to gather an unfair amount of talent together in a space and help facilitate a design jam around the challenge of food security.  People who work as the providers of food security and domain experts from industry, education, government and health; together co-designing.

We would complete the event by offering the participants to experience first-hand where the impact of their work could be felt.  

This could mean they would spend time selling fresh produce with ASRC’s food justice truck or having a go at distribution at  Foodbank Victoria’s warehouse.

Our target audience is the service providers who are already helping supply emergency food aid.  These organisations are Foodbank Victoria, ASRC, Secondbite and Fareshare.  

There is already interest from experts in the fields of service design, user experience and product design, architecture, The Rotary Club of Melbourne Park and Medibank to assisting.

Where we started

Initially, the idea was focused on developing kits for people to grow their own mushrooms from donated recycled coffee ground.  This was because mushrooms could be grown in a controlled environment (indoors and in the kitchen) and have the added benefit of recycling our coffee waste from Melbourne’s cafes.

What we learned

Upon completing customer interviews and research, it was found that having a supply of mushrooms could not meet the needs of families’ dietary requirements. Many of them required more than simply mushrooms as part of their meals.  

This was also due to cultural backgrounds and also lack of skills in cooking new and different donated food.

There was a realisation that there was a better way to solving this big problem from a systems approach.

What’s next

Securing support from key members of Foodbank Victoria, Secondbite and ASRC’s Foodbank as subject domain experts to participate in the event.  We would then look at a venue within the CBD and funding to launch the event.

What we need

To make this happen, we need partners who can provide resources and funding for a venue, materials and catering.  Any other kind of support would be most welcomed.

A little about us

Tung Van Truong Tung is a Melbourne-based User Experience (UX) Designer focused on creating ground-breaking design opportunities.

He has over 8 years of experience working in digital ecosystems and counts himself fortunate enough to collaborate with some great people at award-winning agencies and companies at the forefront of the latest web and mobile technologies.

Since being heavily involved with creating community within RMIT University through his leadership with multiple student clubs; he has always sought opportunities to make a lasting impact in the community.

He is particularly interested in finding ways to empower the most vulnerable in our community to overcome the challenges of food security.

Like to know more or want to work with us? Please get in touch.

Our website [coming soon]

Email Tung at

Phone Tung on 0430 887 719