A Sustainable Future for Yarra Food

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					                         A Sustainable
                         Future for Yarra:

Food                                           anxiety, hunger, lethargy, illness, and        Several social factors need to be
Food is a basic requirement for life and is    unhealthy weight due to inadequate             considered in planning for food security,
intrinsically linked to the environment. The   nutrition. VicHeath (2006) frames              including access to resources, cultural
production of food depends on availability     vulnerability to food insecurity in the        food practices, social isolation, mental and
and access to healthy soil and clean water,    following way:                                 physical illness, ability and equipment to
and the distribution of food depends upon                                                     store and prepare food, and the ability
                                               > Economic – needing adequate income
transport systems. The increasing density                                                     to grow food. The environmental factors
                                                 or resources to buy food and / or
of urban development and its extension                                                        that need to be considered include water
                                                 needing affordable food outlets in the
from the suburbs means that a large                                                           consumption, the methods used to grow
proportion of food is being produced at a                                                     food, the availability and suitability of
great distance form Melbourne, requiring       > Ability – having the ability to physically   land to grow food, and the transportation
long distance transport.                         access food outlets and bring food           of food and associated pollution and
                                                 home.                                        greenhouse impacts.
Food Security is defined as “the state
in which all persons obtain nutritionally                                                     VicHealth (2006) reports on a study of
adequate, safe foods regularly through         > Physical Infrastructure – the availability   how people cope with food insecurity,
local non-emergency sources” (VicHealth,         of public transport or safe walkable         finding that less than 5% respond by
2006). For Yarra residents, it’s about being     routes to food outlets.                      growing their own food (compared to
able to access nutritious affordable food                                                     almost 40% who seek help from relatives
on a regular basis.                            > Geographical Location – the                  or welfare agencies). In addressing
                                                 availability of food outlets with a          community health, local government
The majority of persons at risk to food          variety of socially and culturally           is well placed to integrate community
insecurity are the socio-economically            appropriate food.                            development and public health planning
disadvantaged, who may experience                                                             with open space management to increase

Website: www.yarracity.vic.gov.au                                                             Telephone: 9205 5555
                          A Sustainable Future for Yarra:

 the opportunity for people to grow their            food security and undertake policy     At the planning level, the Municipal
 own food.                                           development to integrate strategies    Public Health Plan lists food security
                                                     into key plans.                        as a key objective to address in the
 Some other ways in which local
                                                                                            issue of healthy weight. Yarra’s Open
 government can address food security
                                                 Food in Yarra                              Space Strategy currently contains no
                                                                                            recommendations for specific sites for
                                                 There are several key ways in which food
 > Adopting an advocacy role to highlight                                                   community gardens to enable residents
                                                 security is currently being addressed in
   the nature of food security and                                                          without access land to grow their own
   associated concerns to the community                                                     food. A report was presented to Council
   and to other levels of government.            > Five community gardens are available,    in February 2007 that recognises the
                                                   on public housing estates for tenants    need and benefits of community gardens
 > Improving knowledge and skills
                                                   and on open space for the wider          from both an environmental sustainability
   relating to nutrition, food growing and
                                                   community.                               perspective and a community
   preparation for disadvantaged groups.
                                                                                            development perspective, and a further
                                                 > A Café Meals Program where vouchers      study to identify suitable sites for new
 > Providing funds through grants
                                                   are made available to exchange for       gardens will be commencing soon.
   programs for organisations addressing
                                                   meals at participating cafés.
   food insecurity or supporting the
   development of a local food agency
                                                 > Nutrition Support Grants which fund
                                                   cultural food programs in social
 > Working with the local business                 settings.
   community to provide residents with
   better access to nutritious affordable        > A number of emergency relief
   food.                                           organisations providing meals and
                                                   food vouchers.
 > Allocating open space to the growing
   of food and community gardens.                > Council assisted community projects
                                                   such as the Yarra Community Food
 > Taking a co-ordination role to                  System (Cultivating Community).
   support existing projects that address

1. What is your vision for food production and food security in Yarra in 2020?

2. How do you think Council can help get us there?

   a. What programs and actions can Council strengthen?

   b. What programs and actions should be done differently or be discontinued?

   c. What new programs and actions can Council start doing?

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