Food For All Latrobe Valley
Food For All Latrobe Valley (FFALV) has had a busy few months supporting community projects and increasing awareness of food insecurity throughout Latrobe. Recently FFALV celebrated World Food Day with the Latrobe Valley community, supporting 31 events with over 9,000 people participating. These events were held in schools and neighbourhood centres, including a mini food festival hosted by the Churchill Neighbourhood Centre.
Within the Latrobe Valley, 7.2% of the adult population are food insecure. Being food insecure means experiencing times when you do not have enough money to buy food, or feel stressed that you might run out of food and not be able to buy more.
This is a complex problem and no single solution will provide an answer to food insecurity. To promote a sustainable approach, Central West Gippsland Primary Care Partnership has partnered with the Latrobe Health Assembly to support the development of a Food Security Coalition, known as Food For All Latrobe Valley.
FFALV has also been working on a number of new community projects that have been made possible through funding received by the Latrobe Health Assembly. Working in partnership with the Newborough Men’s Shed, the ‘Edible Garden Beds’ project is currently in development.
The project involves building and distributing sustainable garden beds to locations across Latrobe. The aim is to increase access to fresh, nutritious food with a focus on those over the age of 65 years who have been identified as being at greater risk of experiencing food insecurity.
The ‘Good Food & Mood’ project is underway with the support of the Youth Council of Latrobe City developing ideas to promote the value and benefit to young people of nutritious diets for better mental health.
Images and information will be available in public spaces across Latrobe, and will focus on delivering the key messages in a fun and engaging way. Leading in to 2020, FFALV will continue to work with local neighbourhood houses and community centres to increase access to nutritious foods through supporting community meals and ‘come & try’ sessions. We will also be brainstorming new ideas with our members over the next few months to identify how we can continue to expand our work and the fantastic achievements that we have seen in the first 12 months of the initiative.
Food security has been identified by the Latrobe Health Assembly as a very important issue within the Latrobe Valley community, although for many the question is what does it actually mean? People are considered food secure when they have availability, and easy access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary requirements and cultural preferences.