Case Study Communities For Children Healthy Take-Away project and op shop

Adults learn to prepare healthy food to enhance children’s development

Adults learn to prepare healthy food to enhance children’s development

Under the Communities for Children Facilitating Partner model, services develop and facilitate a whole of community approach to support and enhance early childhood development. To address the standards of health for children in the Yarralin community the Healthy Take-Away project was established. The success of this program has enabled the community to develop other innovative projects.

As part of the Healthy Take-Away project, discussions were held with women in the community about simple ways to make baby food and prepare a variety of healthy meals, as well as the principles of safe food handling and occupational health and safety in a kitchen.

The project funding enabled local Aboriginal women to set up and run a healthy take-away cafe. Profits made from selling meals like kangaroo stir-fry, toasted ham and cheese sandwiches and fried rice have been reinvested into new ventures such as making bush medicine soap.

The increased focus on children’s health and wellbeing in the Yarralin community has seen flow-on effects already. Community members had long regarded clothing from the local store as too expensive, an issue in a community where temperatures drop sharply at night, and where there are many young children and babies.

Enterprise Learning Projects, a partner in the Healthy Take-Away Project, took clothing donated by the St Vincent de Paul Society to Yarralin for an op shop sale. This was so popular that the community set up its own regular op shop, supported by St Vincent de Paul. Another local community organisation has agreed to provide stock for the op shop at a discounted price.

The profit from the initial sale is being used to set up the shop properly with clothes racks, hangers and calculators, and the Shire Services office will also act as a bank for the op shop. A local resident said, ’Lots of new babies in the community. These nights are cold. Now we’ve got warm clothes.’

As a result of the Communities for Children Facilitating Partner Activity program, Yarralin people are learning business skills to implement sustainable projects that are valued by the community. ’We’re learning now, about all this business stuff,’ one resident happily announced. In the process, the community is developing its own ways to improve health outcomes for children and families.