Food Next Door – a community co-operative in Mildura, north-west Victoria – matches under-utilised farmland with landless farmers to support small-scale regenerative farming, growing diverse crops and engaging people from diverse backgrounds to supply food to local households.  This is a pressing need in Mildura for several reasons.
First, Mildura is one of Australia’s most ethnically diverse rural communities due to its legacy of European post-war migration from Italy, Greece, the former Yugoslavia, Ireland and England, and its more recent history as a declared Refugee Welcome Zone. Second, this ethnic diversity has created tremendous horticultural and agricultural expertise within the community, but many new migrants struggle to access land and put their agricultural skills to practice due to the high costs of land and water.  With few pathways to support new migrants into farming, migrants can experience difficulties with finding suitable employment and integrating with their new community while maintaining connections with their own culture. 
These problems cut across multiple traditionally siloed sectors: humanitarian affairs, immigration and settlement services, agriculture, food production and distribution, community development and planning, and education. Food Next Door, with support from Sunraysia Produce, has been tackling these challenges by partnering with Burundian migrant farmers to grow maize crops on a community garden plot in Mildura (aired on an episode of ABC’s Landline ). Food Next Door aspires to expand the community garden concept and establish a Community Demonstration Farm that will improve the wellbeing of more migrants and the local community, build stronger local food networks, and support economic growth in the region.