Archive for 'Good News'

Not just another policy…

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .



DOWNLOAD…   Not just another policy sitting on the shelf collecting dust…  (1.27MB pdf.)

Sophia Malié, Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation

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Food for Life Market – Warwick Farm

Posted on 24. Dec, 2011 by .



In 2004 a telephone survey of 1100 households in WF showed that 21% households were food insecure – that is, they had run out of food and been unable to buy more, within the last 12 months.

WF is a low-income suburb near Liverpool in NSW, with few fresh food outlets, poor transport, and a high proportion of people living in social housing and people from non-English speaking background

Community food co-op

In 2006, the Health Service started working with local residents and with the Salvation Army to explore ideas to improve food access. Many people voted for a food co-op. Community Builders funded the project for three years ($300,000) to get off the ground, and Housing NSW provided a 3-bedroom house.  After many delays for planning approvals, refurbishment and modification (eg wheelchair ramp), the market  opened in 2009.

Food is sourced from Foodbank and donations from local businesses, with a focus on healthy foods and fresh fruit and veg.  The market  opens three mornings a week.

Over 600 residents have signed up as members, and 80-100 shop regularly at the market, where for a weekly membership fee of $10, they can access a ‘green bag’ full of groceries and some household items. In just over two years, there have been 8,000 visits  with  more than 200 tonnes of food provided. The market is staffed by community volunteers who have been trained through TAFE.  After two years, the market is making a modest profit.


Evaluations carried out in 2009 and 2010 showed that the market was being accessed by the ‘target’ group, ie people on low incomes. Furthermore, among those interviewed, the rate of food insecurity reported was lower than the previous year.  Access to food  and ease of getting food home had both improved.  45% of respondents reported getting all or 50% of their weekly food from the market.

A great sense of community has developed around the market, and many volunteers have gone on to other training courses and jobs as a result of their involvement .

For more information, ring Food 4 Life on market days only (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am to 1pm) on 02 8798 5928.

DOWNLOAD…  Food for Life  (pdf.545KB)

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SFFA Market Basket Survey 2007

Posted on 20. Jul, 2009 by .


The survey was designed to identify differences in the price, and availability of food and quality of fruit and vegetables across Sydney. Surveys were conducted in suburbs representing a range of different levels of socio-economic status. Surveys focused on 2 supermarket chains.

The survey highlighted:

  • a substantial increase in the cost of food since 2002
  • considerable variation in the price and availability of food
  • considerable variation in the quality of fruit and vegetables.

Additional research is currently being undertaken in a larger number of very low socio-economic status suburbs of Sydney.

DOWNLOAD… report (pdf 180kB)

Executive Summary

Poverty is a strong factor influencing health. Often the most disadvantaged people experience the poorest health. Those who could benefit the most from a healthy diet are increasingly unable to afford, find or use fresh healthy food.

Studies have found the cost of food in remote areas of Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia to be higher than in capital cities and larger rural centers (Meedeniya, Smith & Carter, 2000). The quality of fruit and vegetables in these areas was also found to be poorer and the variety available to be more limited. A study in South Western Sydney has also previously found that supermarkets were less expensive than corner stores (Lowry, 2003).

The Market Basket Survey was designed to examine two major factors influencing food security, those being food supply and food access. The survey focused upon the price and quality of foods available in two major supermarket chains across Sydney and its surrounding suburbs.

A total of 37 supermarkets were surveyed, 19 of Chain 1 and 18 of Chain 2. The two supermarket chains were classified for analysis by suburb and level of social disadvantage.

The results of the survey indicate that the average price for the Total Food Basket has increased by $41 in the past four years. This increase was contributed to by increased petrol prices, the drought and Cyclone Larry.

The results of the survey indicate that the price for the Total Food Basket was not consistent across Sydney with up to $43 difference. The most expensive area was Sydney CBD and the least expensive was Roselands. There was little difference between mean prices for the supermarket chains.

The price also differed in areas of different socio-economic status. Stores in areas with higher socio-economic index for areas (SEIFA) and the store in the lowest SEIFA area were found to be the most expensive. Excluding the store in the area with the lowest SEIFA, a possible trend towards increasing price with increasing SEIFA was observed.

Analysis showed that a number of items were found to be unavailable in stores. The “meat & alternatives” food group was found to be the food group most likely to have items missing. This is consistent with previous studies by Meedeniya, Smith & Carter in 2000 and Lowry in 2003. Results also indicated that higher socio-economic areas had a higher percentage of overall items missing.

Overall the quality of fruit and vegetable generally rated poorly. Only 5 / 37 stores rated 80-85% for fruit and vegetables in the “all good” category. These results are poorer than those in previous studies (Meedeniya, Smith & Carter, 2000; Lowry, 2003). This finding may be due to a general decline in quality over time or be impacted by the subjectivity inherent in the tool used.

Results showed that the quality of fruit and vegetables differed in areas of different socio-economic status. The cheapest store with the lowest SEIFA rated higher in the fruit and vegetable quality than the most expensive store. However, there was a possible trend towards poorer fruit and vegetable quality with increasing disadvantage with exception to the store with the lowest SEIFA.

Survey results highlighted:

  • a substantial increase in the cost of food,
  • considerable variation in the price and availability of food
  • considerable variation in the quality of fruit and vegetables provided in supermarkets across Sydney.

This could significantly impact on the food security of some of the most disadvantaged people in Sydney. Supermarkets need to take into consideration the socio-economic status of the area when determining pricing policy and provide consistently high quality fruit and vegetables across all stores.

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