A new community-owned, not-for-profit, zero waste supermarket will be established in the Illawarra.
The Old Dance Hall in Wentworth Street, Port Kembla will be transformed into a new community-owned, not-for-profit supermarket selling affordable foods.
It was announced this week that the project has received $175,000 in government funding.
The supermarket would distribute any profits back to fund community projects, such as tree planting, community festivals and community development projects in Port Kembla.
We hope it will become like a community hub... We're hoping people will bring excess fruit and vegies that they've grown, and they can donate that to the supermarket.
The supermarket will be owned and administered by the Our Community Project organisation, developed by Paul Hellier and a committee of local community members.
Prominent community leader Mr Hellier proposed the project.
"We in Port Kembla are desperate for a supermarket, because there's no supermarket there," Our Community Project general manager Jenny Briscoe-Hough said.
"We hope it will become like a community hub... We're hoping people will bring excess fruit and vegies that they've grown, and they can donate that to the supermarket.
"That's a way that the supermarket can be a viable, because we want to run a viable business.
"We want to run a supermarket that is like supermarkets other towns and communities have, but we're going to do it with a zero waste focus and a social outcome focus.
"It'll have a benefit to the community, because it'll be a meeting place and a place where people can come together and get the things they need to live and eat well."
The project will also include a Library of Things.
According to the project submission, the project's benefits will include access to affordable, ethical, chemical-free produce and products which are, where possible, locally produced.
It would also seek to provide access to a range of items which can borrowed including power tools, sporting, recreational and household equipment.
This would enable residents to try out sports without a cash outlay, and reduces the need to purchase goods for limited use.
The Library of Things will be operated by the Make Do organisation, which is the brainchild of Andrea Persico.
The funding will employ a shop manager to oversee all aspects of the set up and first year of operation.
The supermarket is among a series of Illawarra community projects to be funded by the NSW Government's My Community Project program.
Launched in July this year, My Community Project provides funding for local community projects based on the results of a public vote.
Other project ideas to become a reality
A range of additional Illawarra projects will share in funding from the 'My Community Project' program.
The following applicants will now be able to bring their ideas to life:
*A weather shelter will be constructed at Gibson Park, Thirroul to provide protection from the elements for spectators attending the cricket and football fields. This project will receive $152,265 in funding.
*A project to install water refill stations along the Grand Pacific Walk in Austinmer, Thirroul, Bulli, East Woonona, Bellambi and East Corrimal will receive $111,663.
*$146,464 has been awarded to Mount Brown Public School to construct an inclusive community space for families and community members.
*The Shellharbour Stingrays Junior Rugby League Football Club is set to receive $89,337, while the Lakeside Lions Junior Football Club will receive $32,000, to construct grandstand seating at their respective home grounds.
*The Southern Illawarra Men's Shed will receive $60,721 to establish a Men's Shed in Oak Flats.
*A new Multifunctional Community and Sports Centre, an all-weather community centre at Gerringong, received $187,000.
*Meals on Wheels Bomaderry Commercial Kitchen upgrade - an upgrade to the 30-year-old Meals on Wheels kitchen received $44,874.
*Mountain Bike Skills Park in Minnamurra Quarry - the building of a bike skills park in the Minnamurra Quarry received $50,000.
*Green Connect Farm at Warrawong will develop an educational play area and provide hands-on activities for children to directly connect with plants and animals on its existing 11-acre farm. This project attracted $90,891 in funding.