The core goal for the Fruit & Vegetable Program Model is to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous children identified with health challenges associated with poor diet.
The Fruit and veggie Program focuses on an enhanced diet for at-risk Indigenous children through increased fruit and vegetable intake. Our model is based on a long-running program at the BNMAC in Grafton, NSW, where subsidised boxes of fruit and vegetables have been provided on a weekly basis to identified families in need. The BNMAC program also includes components of nutrition education and healthy cooking.
Importantly, the Fruit and Vegetable program has recently been the subject of formal PhD-level research which has demonstrated the health benefits of a diet for children supplemented with fresh food. This research included a cost-benefit analysis to indicate that funds spent on the provision of fruit and vegetables are more than out-weighed by cost savings associated with improved health of the targeted children. Such evidence provides a sound basis for any efforts to expand the Program beyond the limited capacity that BNMAC can currently achieve at Grafton.
The principal objectives associated with this goal are as follows:-
- Identify families with children at risk of illness due to poor diet
- Improve the health of these children through the weekly provision of subsidised fresh fruit and vegetables to families over a 12-month period
- Improve nutrition awareness and healthy cooking skills of these families
- Monitor the health of children participating in the Program
- Evaluate Program effectiveness and report regularly to the community and stakeholders on performance
- Promote the health of other family members through improved diet
- Raise community awareness of the health benefits of good nutrition and healthy cooking
- Adhere to Program guidelines to support efficient implementation of the F&V Program
The Fruit and Vegetable Program has proved its value to children and families in need in Grafton over the past 10 years.
Recent efforts have expanded the program to the Richmond and Tweed Valleys.
This program is currently funded wholly by Bulgarr Ngaru and does not receive any financial support from external bodies. We would appreciate any assistance in this area by any forms of financial resources available to support this important local program.