A report of the Food Forum can be found here, which includes the many suggestions raised throughout the forum of possible strategies and solutions. Since the Food Forum, Yuwaya Ngarra-li has been focused on building its ‘Food and Water for Life Program’, which aims to address food and water insecurity issues, poor drinking water, costly and poor quality food available in Walgett, and the associated health and wellbeing issues in Walgett.
The urgency of this work has been highlighted after Walgett’s only supermarket burnt down and local food shortages during COVID. Since 2021, the Food and Water for Life Program has been boosted by a five year NHMRC grant (2021-2025) Food and Water for Life: co-creation and evaluation of sustainable innovations to strengthen food and water security with collaborators from UNSW and the George Institute for Global Health. In collaboration with WAMS, we seek to enable community-led sustainable food and water initiatives that will be run by and employ Aboriginal people, and ensure healthy drinking water and fresh nutritious food produced locally for years to come.
Our food initiatives are working to provide sustainable long term food security to Walgett.
Our community is challenged from losing river foods from our local food options - due to bad water management in the Northern Murray Darling Basin. We learnt a lot when the only supermarket in town burnt down in June 2019, about how vulnerable our local food is and how food supply systems contribute to this vulnerability.
With WAMS staff and Walgett IGA we are producing a variety of healthy supermarket initiatives. The Meal of the Month and WAMS Choice promotes healthier choice items on the supermarket shelves. Meal of the Month promotes a healthy affordable meal and provides taste tests in Walgett IGA. Raffles give away the ingredients of the Meal of the Month, and contestants are asked to cook up the Meal of the Month and display if on Facebook for more prizes.