Launched on 1 March 2018, the new Flinders Community Market provides free and low-cost groceries to Flinders University students each week.
The idea was conceived by final year Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics student Will Cheng, during his Community and Public Health Placement in 2017.
The aim of Will’s project was to improve food security for university students, often feeling the pinch of limited income whilst studying. Research in this area shows many students are limited by transport, time and budget to access healthy and satisfying food.
Flinders Community Market now offers pantry and staple foods such as pasta, rice, canned food, sauces, spices, cereals, tuna, crackers, and snack foods at cost price from Foodbank.
All bread, fruit and vegetables are free.
Flinders Permaculture group will be selling campus-grown produce and seedlings, and an op-shop clothing stall run by the Flinders University Student Association (FUSA) will feature semi-regularly.
There are further opportunities for entrepreneurial students to run their own stalls or play live music at the market.
On the second Thursday of each month, a peer-led cooking demonstration will follow the market to provide students with recipe ideas, nutrition tips and inspiration for multicultural cooking.
Oasis (Flinders Wellbeing Centre) has proudly taken leadership of the market, offering both the facilities to host the market and management of student volunteers.
The vision is for the market to become self-sustaining and run by students.
“Student feedback has been exceptionally positive, right from the beginning. Our aim is for the market to continue to evolve and grow, and support Flinders University students over the long term,” says Ben Smith, Oasis Coordinator.
FUSA has also contributed start-up funding, and Flinders Finance Department has donated an EFTPOS machine.
The initiative is strongly supported by the Nutrition and Dietetics team who will coordinate students to lead the cooking demonstrations.
Flinders Community Market is on every Thursday 11.30am-1.30pm during semester at the Oasis Courtyard, Bedford Park. Cooking demonstrations take place the second Thursday of each month at 1.00pm. Students who are interested in volunteering or hosting their own a stall are invited to contact Lisa Chandler at firstname.lastname@example.org.