What is food security?
Food security exists "when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life" 1
What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity refers to not having sufficient food; experiencing hunger as a result of running out of food and not being able to afford more; eating a poor quality diet as a result of limited food options; anxiety about acquiring food; or having to rely on food relief (NSW Centre for Public Health, 2003).
Aboriginal people are at higher risk of food insecurity than non-indigenous Australians. To ensure food security we need to address:
The Koori Community Kitchen project was set up to reduce the factors associated with food insecurity amongst Aboriginal families in Airds, NSW. A partnership between Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation and the Health Promotion Service, South Western Sydney Local Health District, identified the issue and worked together with the community on this project.
A Community Kitchen is a place to meet friends, have a yarn, cook healthy, nutritious meals together and connect with the community. Nutrition is a big part of each Community Kitchen along with a chance to try new recipes and new foods which can help achieve a healthy diet and better health in the future.
It is also a place to share ideas on feeding a family and keeping costs down.
The Koori Community Kitchen has highlighted and generated interest in healthy eating, nutrition and cooking. Tharawal now has a healthy food policy which aims to promote good nutrition across its community by providing healthy and nutritious foods and drinks to staff, the community and guests.
The Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation is one of the few services to have a healthy food policy. The policy was developed through the partnership between Tharawal and the Health Promotion Service. The aim of the policy is to promote good nutrition across the Tharawal community and provide direction on what type of food and drink should be provided at events and functions.A recipe book has been developed with contributions from the community members at the Koori Community Kitchen.
'The Good Tucker All Round' is a fruit and vegetable delivery service available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the region.
The aims of the program are to:
The Good Tucker program purchases good quality fruit and vegetables in bulk at the Flemington markets. Staff oversee the packing of the produce by volunteers into individual boxes. Families pay $15 for substantially larger quantities of fruit and vegetables than what would otherwise be available for the same cost at a local supermarket. Boxes are delivered to families who participate in Good Tucker overcoming lack of transport as a barrier to purchasing fresh produce.
Supermarket Basket $15
Good Tucker Basket $15
This comparison shows what was purchased for $15 at the local supermarket and what is in the 'Good Tucker All Round box'
Tharawal has provided land, which has enabled the Community Kitchen program to expand to include a Community Garden. The garden has run workshops that teach the skills needed to grow fruit and vegetables. The vegetables and herbs grown fresh from the garden are used in the Community Kitchen.
Contact: Alice Wood on 02 4640 3535 or email Alice.Wood@sswahs.nsw.gov.au