WHAT WE DO
QCWA Country Kitchens aims to support people living in regional, rural and remote Queensland to improve their health by adopting healthier eating practices. A report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2016 found that although Australian’s are reporting their health as ‘good’ there are inequalities in health within our very own communities.
The QCWA Country Kitchens program will engage and up-skill QCWA members with the aim of building capacity to support the community towards increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
Why are we doing this?
The 2016 Chief Health Officer’s (CHO) report has identified that the rates of obesity in the population have been increasing for several decades and are recognised as a major public health issue contributing to reduced health and wellbeing. Additionally, we’re not eating enough fruit and vegetables. In fact, only 57% of adults and 70% of children eat the daily recommended serve of fruit, and 6.8% of adults and 3.7% of children eat the recommended serves of vegetables.
Obese adults are more likely to report poor health compared to healthy weight adults and this increases in the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Unfortunately, rates of overweight and obesity are 22% higher in outer regional areas and 36% higher in remote and very remote areas, compared to metro areas. Although there are multiple studies confirming that obesity leads to a reduced life expectancy, the recent CHO report highlights that life expectancy is actually increasing possibly due to advancements in medical treatments.
The QCWA has a high civic profile and strong connection with local communities throughout rural and remote Queensland. This extensive network and membership base will provide an excellent platform to deliver healthier cooking and skills development programs to support people to cook healthier meals at home.
Who is supporting QCWA Country Kitchens Team?
The Queensland Government is funding the program for the period August 1, 2015, through until June 30, 2018.
During this three-year period, the program will be delivered to 80+ regional, rural and remote communities by our QCWA Country Kitchens team. The aim is to promote healthier eating through 5 key messages and encourage local QCWA member to be advocates and encourage their own friends, families and local community members to do the same.
Where are we up to?
‘The QCWA Country Kitchens program is in its final year. At the start of 2017, we have been busy attending events such as the International Weekend in Maroochydore and the Stanthorpe Show, rolling out Hands On Nutrition Workshops and conducting Foodie Talks. As 2018 rolls on through, we will be focusing on supporting currently engaged QCWA branches to continue implementing community activities- our sustainable plan. With the end of the program and funding due to cease on June 30, 2018, we are in the process of applying for additional funding to ensure the program continues to deliver health outcomes throughout regional, rural and remote Queensland communities.
To date, the program has engaged with 74 communities across Queensland in our hands on nutrition workshops and over 170 communities willing to promote healthy eating. The recent evaluation report completed by Monash University in April 2017 concludes that the Hands On Nutrition Workshops have improved the consumption of both fruit and vegetables in participants. Although an additional 1.6 serves is required to meet the recommended 5 serves of vegetables, this is a positive outcome of the program. To date, 1000 participants have joined the program raising over $ $28,000 in registrations returned to branches to conduct community health promotion activities.