Healthy Kids Advisors & Vic Kids Eat Well

Friday, October 29, 2021

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (SAKGF) is delighted to be leading a new initiative on behalf of the Victorian Government.   

Healthy Kids Advisors (HKAs) are a dedicated workforce who will work in 13 targeted local Government areas (LGAs) to provide hands on support for healthy eating in places where children and families gather. 

The priority communities align with VicHealth’s Local Government Partnerships across Victoria so aim to offer a boost to the existing health promotion workforce. 

HKAs will work directly with child and family focused organisations, health and food agencies and support communities to participate in Vic Kids Eat Well.

Vic Kids Eat Well is a collaboration of the Achievement Program (delivered by Cancer Council Victoria) and Healthy Eating Advisory Service (delivered by Nutrition Australia) and funded by the Victorian Government.

Healthy Eating is a key strategic pillar in the State Government’s Public Health & Wellbeing Plan 2019-2023 and aligns with the Commonwealth Government’s draft National Preventative Health Strategy.

Healthy Kids Advisors is a 3-year initiative supported by the Victorian Government and the Australian Government.

Healthy Kids Advisors and the Community

The HKAs will leverage SAKGF’s positive food education philosophy and community engagement model to support the changes the community wants to see.

Healthy Kids Advisors aim to transform food and drink option in schools and other family focused facilities/venues to support good health. Through hands-on guidance and support, HKAs will guide organisations through simple achievable steps to reach their healthy food and drink goals. 

As locally based outreach officers, the HKAs will work with the various food settings and provide practical guidance on healthier food and drink options, generate connections with local food suppliers and create linkages with other health and wellbeing initiatives.

The HKA approach will be about generating local buzz, creating public excitement whilst looking for ways to sustainably embed these healthy changes. 

The HKA roles will be integrated into the local workforce and provide a much-needed boost to areas that need it most and help to address inequities in health outcomes.

The HKAs will be community engagement experts who learn from, and listen to, community and stakeholders. Working together, they will guide progress to meet their healthy eating goals responding to the unique needs of each community. They will constantly monitor and evaluate their impact, providing feedback to continuously improve the initiative. 

The HKA approach will be to leverage and connect with existing initiatives and work to help galvanise the community around making healthy changes, not to replace or reinvent work already being done in the community.

Healthy Kids Advisors and Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

This project aligns with SAKGF’s vision to see children form positive food habits for life. Through 20 years of delivering the Kitchen Garden Program, we are experienced in responding to the needs of families and the settings where they spend their time. We are also experienced in co-creating food education programs with settings and helping to engage community in making positive changes in local food culture. We are excited to see a similar approach being utilised outside of the school gate, so that children receive consistent food messaging and behaviour in their wider community.

The Victorian Government recognises that SAKGF has a unique model that has proved successful in fostering long-term engagement and sustainable change in school settings. We are keen to see that success translate into a wider community setting. 

Foundation work is underway, and recruitment of the new workforce has commenced. We anticipate the Advisors being on the ground by January 2022. The project is funded to 30 June 2024.

Contact: 

Contact hka@kitchengardenfoundation.org.au for further information or enquiries.

 

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