Sharing the tracks to good tucker: identifying the benefits and challenges of implementing community food programs for Aboriginal communities in Victoria Academic Article uri icon


  • Food insecurity is a significant issue in the Victorian Aboriginal population, contributing to the health disparity and reduced life expectancy. Community food programs are a strategy used to minimise individual level food insecurity, with little evidence regarding their effectiveness for Aboriginal populations. The aim of this study was to explore the role of community food programs operating for Aboriginal people in Victoria and their perceived influence on food access and nutrition. Semistructured interviews were conducted with staff (n = 23) from a purposive sample of 18 community food programs across Victoria. Interviews explored the programs’ operation, key benefits to the community, challenges and recommendations for setting up a successful community food program. Results were analysed using a qualitative thematic approach and revealed three main themes regarding key factors for the success of community food programs: (1) community food programs for Aboriginal people should support access to safe, affordable, nutritious food in a socially and culturally acceptable environment; (2) a community development approach is essential for program sustainability; and (3) there is a need to build the capacity of community food programs as part of a strategy to ensure sustainability. Community food programs may be an effective initiative for reducing food insecurity in the Victorian Aboriginal population.


  • Murray, M
  • Bonnell, E
  • Thorpe, S
  • Browne, J
  • Barbour, L
  • MacDonald, C
  • Palermo, C

publication date

  • 2014