WA Government turns to ECU for food security parliamentary report

Extensive research and expertise has formed the basis for a new report tabled in State parliament aiming to address concerns among children and young people affected by poverty.

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WA Government turns to ECU for food security parliamentary report

Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) extensive research and expertise in food security issues has formed the basis for a new report tabled in State parliament.

The Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s Hungry for Change report aims to address food insecurity among children affected by poverty, with Member for Albany Rebecca Stephens MLA entering it into the Western Australian Legislative Assembly.

Food security refers to people’s ability to access food they need to keep healthy, which can be compromised by factors such as physical distance, affordability, social constraints or other factors.

ECU has been on the forefront of addressing the issue in WA.

Its Food Community project began as a pilot program in the South West, where its success saw it then scaled up across the rest of the State, with ongoing work to support regional communities.

ECU’s researchers are currently visiting regional communities to seek feedback on how food security can be improved, and to share how other countries address the problem with Food Action Groups.

Professor Amanda Devine, Dr Stephanie Godrich and PhD candidate Ros Sambell presented to two panels to support ECU’s submissions to the report, which saw their work feature prominently and often singled out for praise.

Among ECU’s recommendations to be incorporated in the report include human rights approaches incorporated across government policies, improved food supply and distribution in regional and remote WA, and Food Action Groups initiated in regional areas.

Other recommendations included a review of regulations and standards to strengthen and guide healthier food provision in the Early Years Education and Care Sector to support child growth and development, as well as establishing school meals.

“ECU’s work being cited throughout this report shows the influence and impact our research is having with government, and in the community,” Professor Devine said.

“We have had ongoing discussions with Ms Stephens and she has requested we keep her informed with further information about our projects, and the next steps we can take.”

Credit: ECU Newsroom

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