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Corangamite Food Insecurities

  • General
Sunday, 07 Jul 2024

A community survey of the Corangamite Shire has found that 43 per cent of residents have experienced food insecurity in recent years.

The Corangamite Shire Food Insecurity report launched on Tuesday 18 June in Camperdown, states over 50 per cent of people who experienced food insecurity answered, “not enough money” and “food costs too much at the local shops” as reasons for being unable to eat enough of the foods they would like.

The investigation, conducted by the South West Healthcare’s Health Promotion Team, included a community food survey, mapping of food outlets, analysis of food costs and community consultation with both community members and professionals working in the Shire.

Survey results also found that the cost of food in Corangamite is particularly high in comparison to other larger regional centres and the added travel costs associated with accessing food across the geographically large and sparse region means that residents face added difficulties regarding food affordability.

The Health Promotion Team utilised the nationally recognised Healthy Diets Australian Standardised Affordability and Pricing (ASAP) protocol, to measure the affordability of food in Corangamite.

Food items across 10 supermarkets in the Shire were recorded to establish the cost of a fortnightly shop for a family of four. Whilst price varied greatly across the supermarkets, what was consistent was the basket of food chosen to align with the Australian Dietary guidelines was on average 19% more affordable than the basket reflective of the current Australian diet.

“There is often a misconception that a healthy diet is really expensive, however research shows that a diet containing take-away food, alcohol and processed foods is actually more expensive. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is not only more affordable, but it can also provide protection against many chronic diseases, while giving us the energy and nutrients we need to go about our day and feel good,” says Healthy Communities Coordinator, Caitlyn Hoggan.

Some of the main strategies residents used to cope with high food costs, was to buy food on sale, eat less meat, and less fruit and vegetables. The survey also found that only 27 per cent of households in Corangamite eat vegetables more than once a day and this is even lower in food insecure households.

The final report, compiled from the results of the survey, makes several recommendations to improve Corangamite residents’ access to affordable food, including; promotion of local food initiatives, promotion of local produce, opportunities for people to connect over food, workshops and resources to support people to build their skills and knowledge and creating healthier retail environments locally.

Page last updated: 2 July 2024

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