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Vinnies and Ishar lead Community Food Centre project in WA

Vinnies WA and Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services are proposing an innovative social enterprise approach to addressing food insecurity in Western Australia through the development of Community Food Centres (CFCs).

CFCs provide a supportive space where people can access fresh and culturally appropriate food, grow produce, cook and share meals and become advocates for themselves and their community.

The development of new skills and knowledge through workshops and education aims to empower community members and build their capacity to break the cycle of household food insecurity.

CFCs can remove the stigma that is sometimes associated with accessing traditional food relief, especially among CaLD communities.

Instead, food is used to bring the community together to share meals and stories, support and learn from each other. The endless social enterprise opportunities that stem from CFCs contribute to the sustainability of the model, and empower people to develop their own micro-enterprise.

Canada provides a strong blueprint for the development of CFCs, with 15 in place across the country. People engaging with Canadian CFCs report having better access to healthy foods and eat an increased amount of fruits and vegetables. Accessing supplemented meals stretch food budgets further, and increase feelings of belonging to a community.

Vinnies Research and Community Engagement Officer Rebecca Ward is leading this project until early April. We are looking forward to seeing the results of the research.