Benalla Grow Your Own

Benalla Grow Your Own

The Benalla Grow Your Own project coordinated by Benalla Health continues to boost food security across the local town. The project received the VicHealth award for improving health equity in 2017, and has continued to expand the reach and population-level impact from the original target of twenty beds in 2016, to a total of 195 garden beds now installed across the town.

The place-based initiative that is by locals, with locals and for locals, has energised the neighbourhood. A range of key stakeholders have engaged to support the sustainability of the project, including the local Men’s Shed, Beechworth Correctional Centre, the local P-12 school, St Vincent de Paul’s, community volunteers, and community organisations. The partners have assisted in the design, construction, and installation of garden beds; promotion of the project; gardening coaching; and funding contributions.

Project participants reported impacts as improved food security; improved financial benefit; increased fruit and vegetable intake; increased physical activity and increased social connectedness. In addition, the project addresses the state-wide public health priority ‘tackling climate change and its impact on health’ by supporting implementation of the North East Local Food Strategy. In particular, the Benalla Grown Your Own initiative supports the food system outcomes of improved access to local produce for all community members; enhanced food literacy and understanding of food production; and strengthened local short food supply chains.

Engaging the local community has ensured the sustainability of the home-gardening food initiative that has boosted local food supply and contributed to a healthy and resilient community

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