How Katamatite Community Action Group is reducing food waste

For the rural township of Katamatite, the Post Office is the heart of their community. With a little help from an Australia Post grant, grassroots organisation Katamatite Community Action Group has turned the Post Office into a drop off point for local produce.

When you drop into the Katamatite Post Office, you might be able to pick up some lemons, zucchinis or peaches with your parcels. It's all thanks to the Katamatite Community Action Group who have set up a community table for locals to share their produce with the community.

With help from the Moira Shire and an Australia Post grant, the Katamatite Community Action Group share table is feeding locals, reducing food waste and bringing the community closer.

It’s just one of the ways the Katamatite Community Action Group has helped improve to connect their regional Victorian township and built a stronger, brighter and tighter community. Here are three ways their projects are shaping their community.

Reducing food waste and feeding the community

For the rural township of Katamatite, the Post Office is the heart of their community. For many people the Post Office is part of their daily ritual, an excuse to stretch their legs and connect with the community.

Former Katamatite Community Action Group secretary and Australia Post employee June Wood says that for a lot of people, especially during COVID, a trip to the Post Office was their only opportunity to connect with someone, “It [the Post Office] is the heart of the town. That's where everyone goes… it's a way for them to communicate and get out and talk to people. We’ve got a lot of older people that are living by themselves and it's the only communication that they get.”

With the local Post Office being such a central part of Katamatite, it was the obvious location for locals to drop off excess fresh produce to share with the community.

“Many members of our community are keen gardeners and often they have excess food that they have grown. It started with one or two people dropping their produce off at the Post Office for the community to enjoy, but now everyone has got onboard.” June Wood.

With people eager to engage, Katamatite Community Action Group sprang into action to find a permanent structure to house the beautiful bounty of fresh produce. Inspired by the community’s spirit, Katamatite local and Australia Post employee Julie Glance nominated the group to receive a grant.

Working with a local handyman, the Group created a table that showcases the local’s harvests with produce including oranges, lemons, pumpkins, snow peas, eggs, artichokes and peaches. During Covid-19 restrictions the table really shone, with people dropping off games and puzzles and even toiletries for people doing it tough.

Building community and inspiring readers

Not only has the local Post Office evolved to share fresh produce, it's also home to a free little library. The free library is another project powered by the The Katamatite Community Action Group and allows locals to drop off books to be shared with the community. The Katamatite Community Action Group got in touch with the local men’s shed to build the little wooden red book house.

Locals donate books, swapping them out a book takes their fancy. The simple idea is built on the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy, giving more people access to books and forging a tighter community. June says “It's very popular with the community. Especially people that are travelling from Cobram to Shepparton they'll stop and they'll get a book… It's fairly well known, the little libraries. A lot of towns are going that way because it's something nice to have in the town for the community.”

Painting the town

Katamatite Community Action Group has been able to brighten up CR Wood Park in Katamatite. Tank, a local artist from Shepperton was chosen to adorn the brick walls at the park with native flora and fauna. With help from the little fingers of Students from the Katamatite Primary School, the mural features bright yellow canola fields made by finger painting. The project has turned a drab, brick toilet block into a bright feature of the park that stands out at night. The mural is another project that shows how community grants contribute to engaging and shaping the community.

Connecting local communities

Our people are passionate about helping local organisations make a difference, and our People of Post Grants program supports the community projects that our people are passionate about.