26 September 2023

ACT takes a stake with OzHarvest

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The ACT Government has partnered with OzHarvest to support Canberrans experiencing hardship to eat healthier and improve their cooking skills.

OzHarvest was granted around $250,000 through an ACT Health Canberra Grants program to deliver the Nutrition Education and Skills Training program (NEST), aimed at improving the food literacy and dietary behaviours of Canberrans who are experiencing adversity.

Developed by nutritionists and dietitians and aligned with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, NEST empowers Canberrans to nourish themselves and their families.

Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the ACT Government was committed to invest in programs improving the health and wellbeing of the Canberra community.

“Healthy eating brings a lifetime of benefits, helping to reduce the risk of developing chronic disease later in life,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“Since being rolled-out in Canberra, the NEST program has delivered more than 139 sessions to 222 participants and connected with 19 community organisations to ensure Canberrans are supported to continue their healthy food journey after they have graduated from the program,” she said.

According to NEST’s National Program Manager, Elisha West, the rising cost of living has seen many new people struggling to put food on their tables.

“NEST has proven results in improving nutrition, increasing community connection, and creating long-term behavioural change in the lives of many vulnerable people,” Ms West said.

“Through working with ACT Health for the last three years, we’ve been able to run over 139 sessions supporting people in need with our charity partners,” she said.

“ACT Health has provided a gold-standard for the program nationally in achieving health outcomes and addressing food insecurity.”

OzHarvest works closely with local community groups to deliver the series of six-week workshops focusing on healthy, low-cost food shopping and budgeting, cooking demonstrations and virtual supermarket tours.

Consultation is currently open on the next three-year Preventive Health Action Plan (2023-25), which will remain open until 28 July

Information about the Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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