Project update

Project background

Frankston City Council's Draft Healthy Secure and Sustainable Food Action Plan 2023 -2026 aims to set the key priorities and actions to improve healthy eating, food security and support good nutrition throughout the community's life course.

The Draft Plan contributes to the delivery of the Frankston Health and Wellbeing Plan, and was developed in consultation with the community and in collaboration with our partners, and informed by health population data and social research.

We invite our community to review the Draft Plan and/or the summary below. Share your feedback via our survey, or add a comment about why food security is important to you.

Why is this a priority for Frankston City?

Council recognises the impact food has on our lives and our community. Food is an essential and enjoyable part of daily life that shapes our wellbeing and influences our physical and mental health. It can strengthen our local economy and the vibrancy of our culture and social connections.

In Frankston City, food is one aspect of the household budget that is increasingly more expensive, with meat, vegetables and fruits as the most expensive food groups.

The Draft Plan will enable Council to address the complex issues affecting our food system and guide our approach to improve equitable access to safe, affordable and nutritious food to all people in our community, particularly those most vulnerable.

Access to healthy food

The Victorian Healthy Food Basket (VHFB) survey conducted by ‘The Community Plate’ in 2022 monitored the cost and access to healthy food in Frankston City.

The below snapshot highlights the current state of our food related issues, challenges and long term health conditions experienced in Frankston City and guides the direction of our plan.

Frankston City health snapshot

Although many people in Frankston City report living in relative good health, research shows there are some key issues that are having a significant impact on health and there is a higher proportion of people living with long term health conditions.

Most people in Frankston City are not eating enough fruit and vegetables required to keep them healthy, with nearly double the amount of people not able to afford to buy food after running out compared to Victorian Average. Research shows there is an increase in people consuming too much discretionary food, which is high in energy and low in nutrients and contributes to the risk of chronic health conditions.

Engagement Results

Engagement Overview

  • The Engage Frankston page for Healthy, Secure and Sustainable food was open for community feedback from 8 November to 7 December 2023.
  • On 8 November, and email campaign was sent to 577 Engage Frankston members.
  • The project page was viewed 208 times during the engagement period, with 38% of visitors spending over a minute on the page.
  • The survey received 8 responses.

Do you believe the themes of affordability, accessibility and food literacy adequately summarise your concerns about food literacy?

What other concerns about food literacy do you have? E.g. why is food security important to you?

  • It is important that community members have knowledge and information on healthy food so they can make informed decisions.
  • Sustainability, reduced food miles, local food networks, organic food, food organic recycling, native foods.
  • I think the plan is a start but potentially more education for adults around nutrition as well as support for people to grow food at home in terms of discounts or free resources supplied by council, more than just seeds. Perhaps a pack for households that includes seeds, seed raising soil, a small box to be used as a hot house and gloves? And maybe a pot or 2?
    More plans for community gardens would be good too.
  • I think there needs to be an emphasis on encouraging and helping people grow their own food. If done well it will address the core concerns of food security.
  • The above question seems to be incorrect as it mentions food literacy twice - perhaps it meant - does accessibility, affordability and literacy address my concerns about food? So NO not entirely. Other concerns are people's capacity to act on what is available to them for their benefit and for them to be able to integrate healthy food eating into their and their family's lifestyles. Also we need to consider other issues people may have such as emotional eating, food addiction or eating disorders, as well as allergies. This is an important part of improving community health and wellbeing.
  • I think it is important as a foundation for improved health and wellbeing outcomes, as well as promoting social inclusion (e.g. cultural and religious considerations), but problems with accessing healthy food can be the issue rather than the knowledge of the benefits of healthy food. Access to these improved health, wellbeing and social inclusion outcomes should happen irrespective of a person's financial situation because your wealth should not dictate your health or your ability to participate in society, and being able to afford healthy food every day is the basis of a healthy and full life. Making decisions about food can be a daily nightmare for many families and just because the experience is becoming more frequent, doesn't mean that it should become normalised. Sometimes, families experiencing food insecurity are also experiencing other problems like gambling harm, relationship breakdown, job loss, disability etc. This can cause other people to see those families' food insecurity as part of a 'suite of problems', usually "of their own making", which almost states to the effect that food insecurity should be expected and not be a surprise. Attitudes like this can lead to stereotyping, stigmatisation and discrimination. It seemed to me at times that the issue of food insecurity lacked visibility until people who are not considered poor (or to have that suite of social problems), suddenly began to experience food insecurity. The fact that everyone begins to take notice only then, speaks volumes about our attitudes as a community and how we treat others and are happy to cast people as the authors of their own misfortune, especially if they are disadvantaged.
  • Being able to source affordable healthy food empowers people to make good decisions about something that's not only very basic to life itself, but can also influence other areas of their lives.
  • Community provided a link to a news article: Disadvantaged students fight to get into medicine degrees. One's calling it out on TikTok. Posted to

Do the Priorities and Objectives in our Draft Plan adequately address your concerns about food security?

Comments from people who selected yes:

  • I think it addresses all the aspects needed, although I'm sure other voices will have other opinions to offer. My extra thoughts in the next section expand on what I see as one of the practical ways of delivering some of the objectives.
  • I think the Plan covers a good range of issues concerning food security.

Comments from people who selected no:

  • I'd like to see bigger picture thinking about where our food comes from and proactive commu
  • I think there needs to be a stronger initiative for growing food at home and in the community. Like the existing park and play spaces visions developed by council, there should be an action plan for developing and expanding community gardens to be in more locations across the council and more available and accessible to residents.nity action, education and engagement e.g more community gardens, school food gardens, home food gardens, etc
  • As a long term member of groups working on Food Security and Healthy Eating initiatives in the Frankston area since 2012 including Frankston Food Access Network, Frankston Community Gardens Network, the Community Plate and Down's Community Farm, I commend the work that has been done by Officers and associates to create this plan for our City - much needed and overdue. What I believe still needs more consideration and inclusion to the Food Plan is reference to the declared Climate emergency and the great importance of locally grown fresh food supply to meet the challenges of natural and other disasters /pandemics which will impact on availability and cost of healthy fresh food in Frankston. Who can forget the $12 iceberg lettuces in 2020/21? FCC is well placed and in my view obligated to take a lead and make a priority of local food production in all its forms. For this reason I would like to see more consultation with community and other food providers to provide some more concrete actions for the next 3 years and some appropriate targets to measure these before this plan is adopted by FCC ( proposed for December)
  • As stated previously, there needs to be greater emphasis on encouraging and empowering people grow their own food. The council's support for native plantings and wildlife through the council's indigenous nursery and the gardens for wildlife program is excellent and gives residents access and education to create their own native gardens. There needs to be an equivalent for edible gardening. A nursery and hub to learn and connect about edible gardening with courses and site visits to empower people to grow food at home.

Comments from people who selected unsure:

  • I’d like more information around support for local farmers and how we can buy from them or find their products. Even a farmers market on the foreshore perhaps?

What is your gender?

Where do you live?

Answer ChoicesPercentCount
Carrum Downs0%0
Frankston North0%0
Frankston South12.50%1
Langwarrin South0%0

Age Group

Age GroupsPercentCount

Do you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander?

Do you speak a language other than English?

Do you consider yourself to have a Disability?

Engagement outcomes

Community feedback provided some valuable insights, and highlighted changes that should be made to the draft Plan. Some feedback also confirmed actions that were already addressed in the draft Plan.

In summary, changes made to the final Healthy, Secure and Sustainable Food Action Plan 2023–2026 following community engagement are as follows:

Additional content added to the Plan:

  • Pg5 – recognising that food security takes a whole community approach
  • Pg 11 – confirming community interest in the plan and food security
  • Pg 13 – recognition of and addressing Sustainability and Climate Change

New Actions added to address community feedback:

  • 1.1.2 – Importance of community gardens
  • 1.2.2- Recognising Food Waste as part of sustainability
  • 2.1.3 – Support for small scale food growing & promote local growers
  • 2.2.3 - Regenerative & circular food system to grow food & dispose of waste in positive ways
  • 3.2.6 – Awareness of climate change to food system

Actions slightly reworded or edited for clarity or to provide more details:

  • 1.1.3
  • 1.1.4
  • 1.2.1
  • 2.1.1
  • 2.1.2
  • 2.1.5
  • 3.2.5

Thank you to all who engaged with us on this project.

What does our Draft Plan include?

The Draft Plan aims to:

  • Provide the framework for how Council will collaborate with community and partners to promote and support healthy and sustainable food environments.
  • Identify current and future food related needs in our community.
  • Build on existing initiatives and identify opportunities to support people in our community to access enough safe, affordable and nutritious food and improve food literacy.
  • Provide opportunities for community participation.
  • Advocate on behalf of people experiencing food insecurity and and inequitable access, including women and single parent families, low income earners, older adults, people with a disability and people at risk of experiencing homelessness.

"Frankston City has a healthy food system where nutritious, safe and culturally appropriate food is accessible, and people in our community have awareness, knowledge and skills of nutritious and sustainable food practices."

Drawing on community consultation, research and co-design undertaken by our collective impact partnerships with ‘The Community Plate’, we have identified the following key themes/priorities to work towards:

Priority 1: An ACCESSIBLE and food secure community

We will have greater diversity in local places and ways that our community can access safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food. Outlets supplying healthy food are in locations where people can access them.

Priority 2: An AFFORDABLE and strong alternative food network

We will have increased ways that local producers (and community networks) can supply affordable and nutritious local food for residents, particularly those who are the most vulnerable.

Priority 3: A food AWARE community

We will raise awareness of the principles of a healthy, sustainable food system and enable people to make food choices that enhance their health and wellbeing. Our community will gain knowledge and skills to plan, select (or grow), prepare, eat, share and dispose of food.

Drawing on community consultation, research and co-design undertaken by our collective impact partnerships with ‘The Community Plate’, we have identified the following objectives to work towards.

For a full list of Actions, please see the Draft Plan.

  1. Objective 1.1: Facilitate improved access to local, sustainable and affordable food.
  2. Objective 1.2: Build partnerships and networks to promote food security and food growing.
  3. Objective 2.1: Increase the development and uptake of affordable alternative food network options.
  4. Objective 2.2: Increase ways local producers can supply affordable healthy local food.
  5. Objective 3.1: Embed healthy food and drink options in Council owned facilities and events.
  6. Objective 3.2: Promote healthy eating initiatives and campaigns that support nutrition throughout life.

Why is food security important to our community?

The Community Plate engaged with our community in 2020 and heard from 221 people that they care about food security because of issues relating to affordability, accessibility and food literacy. Comments were open until 5pm 13 December 2023. Thank you for participating.

8 November, 2023

community.member says:

I need information of where to buy healthy food

8 November, 2023

community.member says:

How do I prepare a quick and healthy meal?

8 November, 2023

community.member says:

To even find a supermarket requires leaving the main road, that means a longer trip

8 November, 2023

community.member says:

There is confusion about what is healthy

8 November, 2023

community.member says:

Wages are not going up, everything else is

8 November, 2023

community.member says:

I have a chronic disease and can’t physically shop