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Nourishing connections for food equity in NSW

Food insecurity is an issue that impacts sections of all communities in NSW. The issue is growing for communities following the pandemic, current rises in the cost of living and the sequential emergencies that NSW has faced.

Quick facts

  • It is estimated that between 4% and 13% of the general population in Australia are food insecure; and 22% to 32% of the Indigenous population are food insecure - depending on location (Commonwealth of Australia 2020).
  • Food insecurity is impacted by a range of socio-economic factors, including the availability of cultural foods (Nutrition & Dietetics 2018).
  • Over 55% of food insecure households reported that they were more food insecure this year than the year prior (Foodbank 2022).

How food security becomes food inequity

Food insecurity is an issue that has been left unresolved for many decades, with people experiencing different levels of insecurity throughout their lives. People slide up and down the level of insecurity due to socio-economic factors associated with housing, economics, transport, climate change, cultural needs, access to food, availability of nutritious foods, food storage and knowledge of preparing foods. With many factors influencing the degree of food insecurity experienced, there is not one solution to ‘fix’ it.

When food insecurity is left unresolved, it becomes an equity issue. Food inequity impacts individuals’ quality of life, lifespan, health and aspirations. The responsibility for achieving meaningful and sustainable changes to food security for communities living in vulnerable circumstances cannot rest on the shoulders of households – it needs a collective effort. 

What is Aboriginal Affairs NSW doing?

Aboriginal Affairs NSW is hosting a Food Equity Symposium to start a cross sector and cross community discussion on how to effect change. To view more about this – and register your attendance click here.

Aboriginal Affairs NSW believes the opportunity to create such change requires drawing on our communities collective cleverness. That is, collaborating across disciplines and across industries - where experts come together to share information, resources, their learnings and reconsider the issue holistically.

Aboriginal Affairs NSW is seeking to engage those who are working in the food relief, food security or food equity space to hold discussions about factors that create or influence insecurity. Our aim is to bring stakeholders together who do not usually interact - to start sharing their knowledge, discuss actionable solutions, and challenge ways to address food equity issues.

In the coming months Aboriginal Affairs NSW plans to bring people together to do just that. If this is an area of interest, and you’d like to work with us to find improved ways of working, please email and keep watching this space for regular updates.

Aboriginal Affairs NSW has recently commissioned the Sax Institute to complete research examining the severity of food insecurity experienced by Aboriginal communities in NSW. You can find the final report here. Sax also brokered the University of Sydney to complete the following literature review on the topic. For further information please go to the Research & Evaluation page.

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