VicHealth Food for All Program
Local Government, Community / Citizen Group
Ongoing since 2005/01
Five year Food for All program involved nine Victorian Municipalities taking a lead to address food insecurity.
In June 2005 VicHealth funded eight food security projects in nine local government areas to work in partnership with local organisations, including community health services, to promote food security. Two projects were located in regional Victoria.
A key strategy of Food for All was to encourage local government to improve integrated planning to address factors that influence access to food, such as transport, housing, economic development, urban planning and land use. This approach was consistent with VicHealth’s emphasis on addressing the determinants of health that lie within the four environments: built, natural, social and economic.
The goals of the Food For All program:
- reduce local government system barriers and local infrastructure barriers to food security
- increase regular access to and consumption of a variety of foods, in particular fruit and vegetables, by people living in disadvantaged communities.
- increase incorporation of food security and related issues into council integrated planning around policy, strategy and actions
- develop leadership and partnerships with community agencies to implement food security strategies that reduce barriers to food security
- initiate and support advocacy to reduce barriers to access and consumption of healthy food.
The program objectives were modified for the second phase (2008 to 2010), to encourage greater emphasis on influencing local government policy, planning and practice across the four environments for health (built, natural, economic and social) and in particular bringing health and urban planning closer together
The Food for All Program has involved action by local government on many fronts:
- enabling residents to identify local sources of fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices
- ensuring that those in poor-quality housing have access to food storage and cooking facilities
- improving Food and cooking knowledge and skills among disadvantaged groups
- improving transport options for those without a car
- increasing community awareness of the problem of Food insecurity.
This program was sited in local government, with eight projects being funded in nine local government areas. One project was undertaken between two councils.
VicHealth funded nine councils to reduce the local infrastructure barriers to food security.
Food for all program had a positive, significant impact on local councils' awareness, operations and strategic direction around food security. It also provided valuable insights into the factors that help or hinder food security promotion through local governments.
Local data and a detailed local evidence base are vital ingredients in local government taking up food security.
- Donovan, J, Larsen, K, McWhinnie, JA, 2011, 'Food-Sensitive Planning and Urban Design,' Heart Foundation, David Lock Associates, University of Melbourne