School of Medical and Health Sciences
Food literacy is seen as a key component in improving the increasing levels of food insecurity. While responsibility for providing training falls on the charitable service organizations, they may not have the capacity to adequately reach those in need. This paper proposes a tertiary education - (university or higher education) led model to support the food literacy training needs of the food charity sector. A cross-sectional study comprised of online surveys and discussions investigated food services offered by Western Australia (WA) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) agencies, food literacy training needs for staff, volunteers and clients, and challenges to delivering food literacy training programs. Purposive sampling was used, and ACT and WA charitable service originations (survey: ACT n = 23, WA n = 32; interviews: ACT n = 3, WA n = 2) were invited to participate. Findings suggest organizations had limited financial and human resources to address the gap in food literacy training. Nutrition, food budgeting, and food safety education was delivered to paid staff only with limited capacity for knowledge transfer to clients. The Food Literacy Action Logic Model, underpinned by a tertiary education engagement strategy, is proposed to support and build capacity for organizations to address training gaps and extend the reach of food literacy to this under-resourced sector.
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