Going bananas for Oxfam’s GROW campaign

Campaigning for change article written on the 30 May 2013

Photo: Tony Nevado

 

By Gavin Lower

It’s not every day you get to dress up as a vegetable or a piece of fruit. But that’s what I signed up for when I joined Oxfam’s GROW campaign to spread the word about food security and collect petition signatures at farmers’ markets around Melbourne in May.

As a loyal and proud Queenslander I obviously chose the banana suit.

I was unsure and a little apprehensive at first about what kind of reaction I’d get from the public as I wandered around the stalls with my petition clipboard and information about the GROW campaign.

But with corn as support I needn’t have worried.

The suits were actually a brilliant icebreaker to introduce ourselves to people, who were good natured and had a laugh with us. They were especially good for talking with mums and dads, whose kids loved the suits.

We’d explain what the campaign was about and ask them to sign our petition calling for the Federal government to increase the foreign aid budget to 0.5% of GDP and to direct more of that aid towards small-scale farmers in developing countries. Most were receptive to what we were talking about and added their names to the petition.

That’s one of the great things about farmers’ markets; they have a relaxing, laid back vibe and everyone is there to enjoy the food and produce on offer. With people interacting with the farmers selling their produce, the GROW campaign and its message about sustainable living and a better food system fitted in nicely. It was also fun to meet the other volunteers and share the experience with them.

I look forward to joining in another Oxfam campaign in the future.

You too can sign the petition here and join the GROW Challenges here.


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