Food for All forum

REGION - A Grampians Pyrenees partnership in health promotion work is set to host a Food for All Forum on Thursday March 20 to connect people and organisations interested in growing, sharing, sourcing and distributing food.

The event will build on initiatives undertaken by the Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership (GPPCP) Integrated Health Promotion Working Group over the past two years to explore and identify issues within the Grampians Pyrenees region relating to the availability, accessibility and utilisation of healthy food and the work of Healthy Together Grampians Goldfields that is focused on improving health by strengthening efforts around prevention where people live, learn, work and play.

Mapping, surveys, audits and consultation found a number of key findings including limitations around finances, transport, knowledge in budgeting, purchasing, preparing and cooking food. Health problems and lack of mobility are also a concern, as is the lack of available and affordable food in small townships.

Healthy eating is one of the foundations of good health for individuals, families and communities. To support healthy eating, access to healthy food and drink is essential.

Findings indicate that particular groups are more vulnerable such as those people living in isolation, those without transport, older people, young people, single parents, people with a disability and low income earners. The forum is the next step in addressing food related issues for these people and the broader community.

The target audience includes people from along the food chain; economic and community development, community and commercial growers, retailers, schools and kindergartens, emergency relief and the health sector.

Anyone interested in food in the Grampians Pyrenees and Goldfields regions are encouraged to attend. The forum, jointly funded by GPPCP and Healthy Together Grampians Goldfields, will be held at Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, Ararat between 9.30am and 3.30pm and will include presentations on innovative work, discussion and planning opportunity.

"The forum will provide opportunity to engage with a range of stakeholders passionate about food in the local area," GPPCP health promotion coordinator Meagan Ward said.

"By bringing people together we hope to learn from each other, identify opportunities to work together and develop a future action plan to address food related issues."

"It is a wonderful opportunity for us to address access to a healthy food supply for all the community and provides a way forward through partnerships, projects and policies to support healthy eating," Sharon Ruyg, manager preventive health, Healthy Together Grampians Goldfields.

The cost is $20 to attend and registration is essential by Friday March 14. Contact Christine Nicholls on 5352 6226 or email gppcpadmin@grampianscommunityhealth.or.au

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