8 August 2017
Food for Groote

ANINDILYAKWA people are reconnecting with the land to improve their health, as part of the Food for Groote plan. 

The plan is a blueprint to create health on Groote through nutrition and hygiene. 

Elders and community leaders are helping to roll out the plan in a bid to improve quickly declining health on the island. 

One part of the plan is teaching community members about the importance of fruit, vegetables and bush tucker in a healthy diet. 

All ages will join to grow, harvest and prepare fresh produce to create healthy meals. 

The plan is being rolled out by non-profit organisation, Edge of Nowhere Foundation (EON), together with the CDP, GEBIE and GEAT. 

It includes reviving the GEAT market garden so fresh vegetables and fruit are available for community, educating children in schools and mothers of families, creating healthy clean homes, and ensuring homes have working fridges and stoves to prepare fresh food. 

ALC chief executive Mark Hewitt said Anindilyakwa people were hungry. 

"They’re not eating properly, very little healthy foods are being eat, very little cooking is happening at home and as a result kids are hungry, they are struggling to concentrate and they are often sick," Mark said. 

EON has spent more than a decade helping remote Aboriginal communities make changes to improve health. 

Co-founder Caroline de Mori said poor nutrition was a contributor to the soaring rates of type two diabetes and heart disease in Aboriginal communities.

"People are having so many terrible but preventable health problems because they are not eating good food," Caroline said. 

"One of the most disturbing results is that by school age 70 per cent of Indigenous children have hearing loss."

EON’s program provides sustainable access to fresh produce in schools and communities and offers training in how to grow, harvest and prepare the produce to create healthy meals. 

EON hopes to be working with the ALC on Groote and Bickerton islands by October. 

Image: All ages will join to grow, harvest and prepare fresh produce to create healthy meals. Pictured are Truzelda Murrungun and Katrisha Jaragba.