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“What’s on your plate?” – Call for residents to share their experience with food insecurity

Food insecurity does not just happen in third world countries – it is happening right here in Frankston.

To help start a conversation about this important issue, the Frankston Food Access Network – a working group of representatives from Peninsula Health, Frankston City Council and local residents – is calling on locals to share their experience with food insecurity as part of a new project, Reality Bites.

“Food insecurity occurs when people are unable to access and consume the nutritious food needed to live an active, healthy lifestyle,” explains Iain Edwards, Community Health Operations Director at Peninsula Health.

“The reasons this occurs are vast and include financial restraints, distance to food retailers and not having the knowledge to make appropriate food choices.”

In 2015, the Food Security Scan found that 70% of the municipality of Frankston is classified as a ‘food desert’ – this means residents have to travel more than 500 metres from home to reach a fresh food outlet.

Take Away shops in the area outnumber fresh food outlets by six to one. For people receiving benefits from Centrelink, to buy an average healthy food basket would cost 32% of their income.

Frankston City Mayor Colin Hampton recognises the difficulties residents can face when it comes to eating a healthy diet.

“We’ve heard from families that if you are trying to feed young ones who are fussy eaters, it’s a challenge. And on a limited budget and wrestling with other life issues, it can be near impossible.” Mr Hampton says.

“Any programs to overcome this challenge are welcome in Frankston City.”

Late last month at the Frankston Food Forum, locals gathered to talk about their role in food security in Frankston and hear about Reality Bites.

Students at John Paul (secondary) College attended and brought their Companion Van, which students run twice weekly to provide meals to local people in need.

“The work John Paul College students are doing to help locals experiencing food insecurity is a great example of some of the stories we want to hear and share as part of Reality Bites,” says Iain.

The Frankston Food Access Network is seeking 20 local residents willing to share their insight into food insecurity through photos. They’re looking for people who have experienced food insecurity themselves and also residents doing their part to help others access nutritious food, like the students at John Paul College.

Participants will have their photo taken and a coffee table style book will be developed to present the residents’ insights.

If you would like to be part of the project please contact the Frankston Food Access Network via Josh Pereira on 03 9784 9897 or JoshPereira@phcn.vic.gov.au.

For more information please contact:

Jessica Mills
External Communications Manager, Peninsula Health
0419 868 824