A new short film that tells the story of food insecurity in Ballarat has been described as a ‘wake up call’.
The film presents the issue of limited and uncertain access to enough food as complex and deeply ingrained in the Ballarat community.
Opening shots present the shocking statistic that 78 per cent of people who are food insecure in Ballarat experience moderate to severe hunger, and 80 per cent ran out of food and could not afford more.
The four minute Mass Motion produced film goes on to highlight the importance of existing emergency food relief and community meals programs, and work that is to come around the Feed Ballarat Appeal and establishing a Foodbank warehouse in Ballarat.
Salvation Army cafe volunteer Jess features in the film: “If it wasn’t for the Salvation Army, I probably would have went the opposite way. I love giving back to the Salvos, they are the best people in this world.”
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Melanie Robertson described the film as a ‘call to action’ after seeing it at Ballart Foundation’s rescue food banquet.
“It is important to have engaging programs such as this film that do make people feel a little uncomfortable and compelled to think about what their part is in the community and act upon that,” Ms Robertson said.
Committee for Ballarat will advocate at a state and federal political level for funding to establish a Foodbank warehouse in Ballarat.
Ballarat Community Health general manager prevention and system development Katherine Cape said a Foodbank hub would increase the ability to rescue, store and redistribute food to the community.
At the moment we could rescue more food but nobody has got the storage for it or the capacity.
Katherine Cape, Ballarat Community Health
Ms Cape said now the film had generated wider community understanding of food insecurity in Ballarat, it was time to look at sustainable approaches such as ensuring adequate income and reducing the cost of housing.
“One of the reasons people are going hungry is because other costs like housing, electricity and gas are escalating and people are cutting down on food as a discretionary item when of course it isn’t,” Ms Cape said.
“We should now be looking at opportunities to have more community gardens to build up local supply of free food and be building up skills to be able to cook healthy meals at a cheap price.”