SWAP IT: Kirby Chesney founder of Bundaberg Food Swap prepares for the first food swap this weekend. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
SWAP IT: Kirby Chesney founder of Bundaberg Food Swap prepares for the first food swap this weekend. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Food to change hands but money will not

HOME-GROWN produce will be swapped in Bundaberg tomorrow as the community joins together to share its bounty in a Food Swap.

The move comes amid an ongoing struggle to establish a farmers' market in the region.

Bargara businessman Merv Schneider, the CQ Leagues Club, the Salvation Army Tom Quinn Community Centre and Queensland Farmers Market director Shane Stanley have all tried to establish a farmers' market in Bundaberg.

The community-organised food swap also follows the successful Bundy Flavours Festival this month, which saw farmers from across the region join together to showcase their produce.

Bundaberg woman Kirby Chesney is the founder of Bundaberg Food Swap but says it is not a new idea.

"I've actually moved up from Victoria and it's pretty common around the city there," she said.

She said food swaps she regularly attended in Victoria attracted more than 500 people and the recipe for success was simple.

"Bring in excess garden produce, pop it on the table and take something else," she said.

Founder of Noosa Farmers Market Shane Stanley said it was good to see the Bundaberg community taking the initiative.

Three years ago, Mr Stanley tried to work with the Bundaberg Regional Council to establish a farmers' market in the region.

But said the council was "disgraceful", all for non-progression and was "the most difficult" council he'd come across in Queensland.

"They wouldn't even give us a look in; they just kept finding ways to say no," Mr Stanley said.

He said it was the people of Bundaberg and the farmers who had suffered as a result.

"You should be jumping up and down - you're really missing out," he said.

Mr Stanley said he wasn't going to back down from the Bundaberg council.

"It's still on the drawing board - we'll be back," he said.

The Food Swap will be held at Lake Ellen Heritage Hub tomorrow from 9am to 10.30am. For more information contact Kirby Chesney on 0457 772 322.



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