The Benalla Grow Your Own (GYO) project has blossomed into an award-winning initiative, being named a finalist in the VicHealth Awards.
The Benalla GYO project aims to provide a wicking garden bed, equipment and training to help families accessing emergency food relief to grow their own.
The garden enables residents to produce their own fruit and vegetables with an aim to increase their consumption and decrease food insecurity.
Benalla Health dietitian Kathryn McQualter said being named a finalist for the 2017 VicHealth awards is a tremendous honour.
‘‘I’m thrilled that the Benalla Grow Your Own project has been recognised as a leader in health promotion in this prestigious category of the VicHealth Awards,’’ Ms McQualter said.
‘‘Benalla Health has worked in partnership with St Vincent De Paul, Beechworth Corrections and the Tomorrow Today Foundation to offer local residents the opportunity to grow, harvest and prepare their own food for consumption.’’
The working group is committed to improving the health of Victorians and the Benalla GYO project is an example of our work to decrease food insecurity and improve healthy eating habits for our residents.
‘‘Since having their own wicking garden bed installed, 90 per cent of families eat more fruit and vegetables, 90 per cent feel more confident in food budgeting, and 80 per cent have an increased understanding of the importance of healthy eating. The really exciting outcome is that all participants feel better able to provide for their family.
‘‘The VicHealth Awards highlight the critical role of health promotion in keeping Victorians happy and well and we look forward to celebrating our achievements with the other outstanding finalists in December.’’
VicHealth chief executive officer Jerril Rechter said the quality and scope of this year’s nominations were outstanding.
‘‘This year’s finalists are to be commended for tackling some of Victoria’s biggest health issues and making a huge difference to the lives of so many Victorians,’’ Ms Rechter said.
‘‘We received a record number of nominations across 10 categories this year, from small community gardening projects supporting disadvantaged families to statewide campaigns confronting challenging health issues, such as mental illness, cancer and drug abuse.
‘‘It’s inspiring to see so many organisations like Benalla Health working with communities and using health promotion to improve the health and wellbeing of Victorians.’’
Winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 5, at the VicHealth Awards Ceremony at Melbourne Museum.
●For more information about the 2017 VicHealth Awards, visit www/vichealth.vic.gov.au/awards