Planting Seeds: For a Food Secure Future
Food insecurity affects a large number of young New Zealanders every day. It is associated with low-income families and exists when people do not have access to enough healthy food, experience hunger, consume less nutritious foods due to limited options or rely on food relief and banks (Dastgheib). In New Zealand, there is a rising concern for food insecurity among adolescents. In 2012, 11% of young people reported food insecurity often or always, with 33% reporting food insecurity concerns occasionally (this being a 3% and 5% increase from 2007) (Utter, Izumi and Denny). Other issues are the increasing rates of obesity and other health concerns. (Stevenson, Growing Healthy Communities 37). The New Zealand population has one of the highest levels of obesity in the world, and this is a reflection of food insecurity and poverty (Thomas and Hunt). When families are food insecure, they are more likely to turn to the ease and affordability of fast food and highly processed food for their meals (Utter, Izumi and Denny). However, a diet based on fast-food has a low nutritious value and may generate a vicious cycle of obesity. An unhealthy meal reduces the amount of energy and motivation someone has (Cespedes). When adolescents consume a high level of fast food, the motivation to work is decreased, leading to lower grades, suspension and unemployment later in life (Government of South Australia; Gorton 3). In addition to this, their health and wellbeing are threatened, and medical bills can rise significantly producing a cycle of poverty (Todd). This research proposal will try to break the cycle of food security and poverty by providing families with an alternative choice to fast-food and takeaways. A pavilion is designed for Otara, Auckland, which combines the programme of a church, greenhouse and a community kitchen to encourage a healthy lifestyle. It will be located near Ferguson Intermediate and provide the facilities and environment to help individuals overcome food insecurity in their households.