In a nutshell, we run food education projects for young people.
Beyond the nutshell, we’re a national volunteer-led organisation that aims to build the skills, knowledge and experience that young people have around food. More than that, we empower them to take those skills, knowledge and experiences out into the world and create the food system that they believe in.
It’s important. Food can often feel like an epic minefield. With everyone from bloggers, scientists, farmers, celebrity chefs, dietary guidelines, friends and your Instagram feed clambering for a say in what goes on your dinner plate, young people are dealing with more mixed messages than autocorrect fail text exchanges with your mum.
But ultimately, knowing where your food comes from matters. Here’s why:
By building a generation of young Australians who can cook, who can read a label, who understand the challenges facing farmers, who know the basics of how food grows and how it reaches our plate, we also build a generation of people that are healthier, more connected to our food and land, and better able to support farmers without it costing us the earth.
That’s where we come in.
YFM exists to help fill in the gaps. We provide a place – be that in pubs, in living rooms, on laptop screens – for information and skills to be exchanged and for learning to happen. We don’t believe in telling people what to do, we believe that by young people knowing and sharing more about where our food comes from (how it was grown, who grew it, what can even be done with it ), they become armed with the skills, knowledge and experience to build us a sweet food future.
These skills, knowledge and experience, collectively, we like to call ‘food literacy’.
Want to be part of it all?
Check out how we create $7 of social value for every dollar donated to us - read our last Annual Report.
YFM is a community that brings people to the table, using food to tackle big issues, one bite at a time.
The most important part of YFM is its Community. This community is both inward facing, such as co-ordinators and volunteers, and outward facing, including our broader audience. The sense of community that YFM aggregates is what draws and keeps us together.
When this community comes together, we break bread at the Table. This table is both literal and metaphorical. The YFM community comes together to share a meal, but is also a safe space where people can present their knowledge, skills, passion and ideas. The table is our place to meet, to share, to grow together - and food is our common ground.
Often when the YFM community meets at our table, we chew over the big Issues. Young people are often passionate and inquisitive, but can feel lost, isolated or overwhelmed by the large-scale dilemmas we face today. At the table and using food as our guide, we want to tackle these issues in more pragmatic ways.
Our vision is to build our community.
Our community is rich and inclusive. It is made of people from socially, geographically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
It is a community that connects through food, e.g.
Our community are inspired, confident citizens, empowered to tackle the big issues, in their own practical ways.
To achieve our vision and fulfill our purpose, we will build relationships with our community. We will aim to listen to the many voices that make up YFM, ask these people to continue to invest in our community, and support them to grow their knowledge and skills. By listening to them, asking of them and supporting them, we strengthen our Table and give people the power to become their own local food heroes.
Content will be integral to our mission, and consists of digital and live (events). Content is created for, and by, YFMers.
The values that guide our work and decision-making:
Our approach is based on the belief that peer-to-peer learning – yep that’s young people teaching and sharing with other young people - is the most powerful way to create change.
We aim to make complex issues around food accessible, tangible and human. Above all, we create projects which appeal to young people’s sense of play. We’re also not prescriptive – we don’t believe in telling young people what to think or how to think - we simply advocate for the importance of understanding your food and making your choices count.
YFM runs a slate of annual projects which our chapters roll out on the ground . Our projects are outside-the-box, hand-crafted affairs that break down barriers between growers and eaters and build the food smarts of young Australians. Check out our projects page to find out more
YFM creates and shares news about cool food stuff. Whether through social media or our website, we are about creating spaces to talk all things food and agriculture and share skills and knowledge with our community.
YFM is a voice for young people in public discussions about the future of food. From public forums and policy debates, to policy submissions, and community halls, we represent the unique (and complex) perspective of young people in conversations where we've traditionally been left out. We believe that dialogue is a vital piece of the puzzle.
Trust us, we get asked this a lot.
YFM projects speak to young adults between the ages of 18-35. We know that moving out of home, and the experience of first cooking for yourself can shape the way you buy and eat food for years to come. We aim to give young people a tool belt of practical skills and knowledge during this time that can set them up for the future.
It's simple. Young people today are the future farmers, chefs, eaters, shoppers, manufacturers and retailers of tomorrow. We are the people who will inherit the problems we have around food, so who better to fix it than us?
We also know that of any generation alive right now, young adults are the most open to change. A pretty crucial part of the sustainable food puzzle. We’ll put our hands up to try new ways of working, we want to have tough conversations, not close them down.
We’re like the secret ingredient you often forget to use.
We also bring energy, positivity and open-mindedness to big conversations about food and believe these things give us a unique place at the table.