Healthy, accessible food for all Tasmanians

As committed advocates, providers, researchers, and support agencies the Tasmanian Food Security Coalition (TFSC) is focussed on our vision that all Tasmanians are able to eat fresh, local and nutritious food every day.

The TFSC was established in October 2021 to provide an expert collective voice on food and nutrition issues in Tasmania. Our collective experience can assist governments in making evidence-based decisions. Not any one organisation has all the answers, but collectively we can be impactful when we work together around a common vision and mission.

How is Tasmania doing when it comes to food and nutrition?

  • One-in-five Tasmanian adults are experiencing some level of food insecurity,
  • Less than 10% of Tasmanians eat enough vegetables and only 40% eat enough fruit, a key measure of their dietary quality,
  • Tasmanian kids get over 40% of their calories from junk food,
  • The Tasmanian Government investment in preventative health is too small to address the current issues, currently under 2% when best practice is 5-7%.
  • Tasmanian Government agricultural policy currently doesn’t prioritise supplying Tasmanian food needs,
  • Tasmanians have a strong preference to eat locally grown and sourced fruit and vegetables.

Consequently, we need government investment and action that addresses poor nutrition and ALL the underlying causes through a whole-of-government response, and collaboration across sectors, to support all Tasmanians to eat well.

In recent years, the TFSC has been working closely with the Tasmanian Government and industry stakeholders in relation to the state’s food security (Food Relief to Food Resilience Strategy [2021-20] and subsequent Action Plan [2023-25]).

In April 2023, we welcomed the increased investment to support a number of key initiatives across the state, including:

  • Additional funding for the School Food Matters School Lunch Project.
    • Funding for Eat Well Tasmania to run healthy nutrition initiatives delivered in Neighbourhood Houses and other community settings.Funding for the Tasmanian Neighbourhood Houses Community Garden Grants Program.
    • $800,000 to create place-based solutions around food resilience (this project is awaiting funding).

Unfortunately, some of these actions haven’t been realised, the reality is that the current demand for emergency food relief has escalated dramatically since the release of the Action Plan and the sector is in urgent need of further investment from government to meet this increased demand.

More investment is needed to address both immediate need and ensure a food secure Tasmania into the future. We therefore call on all parties and candidates in the 2024 Tasmanian State Election to:

  • Agree that the current rate of Tasmanians suffering from severe insecurity is unacceptable.
  • Acknowledge that Tasmania has enough food to feed everyone.
  • Commit to a whole of food system approach to create a food secure Tasmania.

All members of the coalition have submitted their individual commitments to all parties and candidates in the 2024 Tasmanian State Election. These submissions are aligned with the Food Relief to Food Resilience Strategy and advocate for the necessary government investment.

To achieve these outcomes we believe a coordinated approach is required, and seek the following commitments:

  • Review and reaffirm Tasmania’s Food Relief to Food Resilience Strategy and Action Plan with a food system approach for a ten year period (with appropriate revision markers established).
  • Resource the Tasmanian Food Security Coalition to facilitate a statewide approach to food resilience — $200,000 per annum for five years.
  • Provide increased and sustainable funding for the School Lunch Program.
  • Review the level of demand for emergency food relief and fund the investment required to support emergency food relief agencies to meet demand.
  • Legislate minimum dietary standards for food relief.
  • A review of existing funding parameters to ensure there is accountability around organisations commitment to building resilience
  • Commit $800,000 per annum over the Forward Estimates for resilience-focussed projects to be administered by the TFSC. These projects will build on the investment committed into place-based responses to community need and focus on areas experiencing high levels of food insecurity.

The TFSC looks forward to working with the incoming Tasmanian Government to support all Tasmanians to be able to eat fresh, local and nutritious food every day.