Port Pirie's food hub wins 'healthy challenge' award

HUB: Cheryl Kelly, left, Rosslyn Alberts, Steven Talent, Shelley Roros, Jackie Davis, Aaron Davis, Jan Viney, Jacqui Mezzinor and Debbie Herschausen at the centre. Photo: DIanah Walter
HUB: Cheryl Kelly, left, Rosslyn Alberts, Steven Talent, Shelley Roros, Jackie Davis, Aaron Davis, Jan Viney, Jacqui Mezzinor and Debbie Herschausen at the centre. Photo: DIanah Walter

Welfare group Uniting Country SA won the inaugural South Australian Healthy Towns Challenge Award.

The organisation's Port Pirie Community FoodHub was successful with its FoodHub Health and Well-being Project.

The project, led by FoodHub co-ordinator Jacqui Mezzino, launched initiatives to improve people's health and well-being by increasing the community's understanding of the relationship between healthy eating and disease management.

It showed how people on any budget can eat healthily with activities that enable them to learn how they can manage their own health and well-being.

Initiatives undertaken in this project included upskilling the group's FoodHub volunteers, cooking classes, FoodHub activities, Meal Pack development and promotion of the centre.\

Upskilling FoodHub volunteers included building their confidence to engage with customers and share nutritional and healthy eating options including fruit and vegetables. The cooking classes taught people how to prepare simple and affordable meals for themselves and their families.

Some of the activities included in-store cooking demonstrations, displays, hosting school students and client surveys.

The meal packs developed by Flinders University dietetic students helped customers to prepare healthy meals by providing a recipe and ingredients.

Promoting the centre to the community involved meeting with agencies, case workers, business and community leaders and discussing the benefits of the FoodHub and the necessity of nutritious diets.

Poor nutrition plays a significant role in diabetes, obesity and lead absorption.

The group and FoodHub rely on residents' support to provide services.

A spokesman said that if anyone wanted to learn more, volunteer with the organisation or donate, they should visit www.ucsa.org.au

I enjoyed the cooking in the store with great ideas for hiding vegetables in food.

Happy FoodHub customer

Key quotes about the FoodHub include:

"I appreciate the volunteers making suggestions to help me feed my family healthier" - customer.

"I enjoyed the cooking in the store with great ideas for hiding vegetables in food" - customer.

The group thanked this newspaper for its support through The Recorder's Uniting for Christmas Appeal.

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