A Sustainable Future for Yarra: Food 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 neighbourhood. 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: Food 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 include: 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 Yarra: 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 network. 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 Questions: 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?