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Community partnerships to bring improved access to nutritious food

Centacare Evolve Housing is helping to improve community health as part of the Waterbridge Food Co-op, which has just received funding through Tasmania Medicare Local’s Social Determinants of Health program.

The co-op is one of eight Tasmanian projects funded under the program which targets social conditions that prevent people living healthy and productive lives.

The funding for The Waterbridge Food Co-op was secured by the Jordan River Service Inc. in partnership with Centacare Evolve Housing, Colony 47, SecondBite, Workskills Inc, the Heart Foundation and Urban Farming.

The Jordan River Service runs the Bridgewater and Gagebrook Community Centres, Pete’s Community Shed and an Integrated Family Support program.

Helen Manser from the Jordan River Service said the funding was part of a long-term strategy to leave a 20-year legacy in the community and would be used to improve people’s access to healthy food through community pantries, gardens and vegetable boxes.

This in turn would be linked to life skills training including assistance in budgeting, managing a healthy home and cooking and other education.

Centacare Evolve Housing will be involved in early identification of potential clients and referrals to the services that will be offered through the project.

Plans include further development of community gardens at the Bridgewater and Gagebrook Community Centres, the provision of kitchen and pantry facilities at both centres for the preparation of nutritious and affordable food, food education, a pop-up kitchen and market.