Nic Street,Minister for Community Services and Development
The Tasmanian Liberal Government has released the Food Relief to Food Resilience Action Plan for public consultation to ensure more Tasmanians can learn about, and access, healthy, nutritious food wherever they may live, while also encouraging better connections with local food sources.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government wants all Tasmanians to be strong and resilient through connected and supportive communities, and we are proud of our significant support for Tasmanians in need across our state.
This Action Plan follows our release of Tasmania’s first-ever Food Relief to Food Resilience Strategy last year and I thank the Food Relief Community Reference Group for its assistance in developing these important resources.
The 2022-23 State Budget kicks off initiatives in the Action Plan committing $300,000 to pilot a range of initiatives to connect the health and wellbeing benefits of food security, as well as helping to increase the knowledge and capacity of individuals and communities towards self-sufficiency.
Since 2018, the Tasmanian Liberal Government has invested more than $9.3 million in funding for emergency food relief initiatives – such as the Tasmanian School Lunch Pilot – and we will continue to work closely with all community service providers to ensure that Tasmanians who need help, get help. And as we have demonstrated over the last two years, if these pilots are over-subscribed, we will consider additional assistance.
While the Government continues to build community and individual resilience, we also understand that some people will still need direct assistance, and this funding comes on top of the previous $3 million increase in emergency food relief funding over 3 years in 2021.
This funding boost continues a 20 per cent increase in base funding for critical food distributors, including Foodbank Tasmania and Loaves and Fishes, as well as increased funding for Gran’s Van, Loui’s Van and Mission Beat to serve our community.
I am absolutely committed to ensuring equitable funding for emergency food relief across both levels of government and I recently wrote to Social Services Minister, Amanda Rishworth, requesting that the Commonwealth revisit its funding arrangements for emergency food relief in Tasmania. I look forward to meeting with Minister Rishworth to discuss this further.
I thank all providers for their dedication in helping those who need it, and we will continue working with organisations to provide food relief to those in need while working alongside TasCOSS to ensure these organisations are connected.
The Food Relief to Food Resilience Action Plan is available at https://www.communities.tas.gov.au/csr/policy/Policy_Work/food-relief-to-food-resilience-tasmanian-food-security-strategy-2021-2021
Consultation is open until 31 July 2022 and submissions can be made at: https://www.communities.tas.gov.au/newsroom/public-consultation-food-relief-to-food-resilience-action-plan