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Food poverty in New Zealand: Solutions already exist

MEDIA RELEASE Localising Food Project: Thursday 14 August 2014

Food poverty in New Zealand: Solutions already exist

Robina McCurdy, a Golden Bay educator, has the answers to this country's food poverty issues, she has documented them, and now she wants to share that information with as many people as possible through her Localising Food Project.

Through a multimedia website and film documentaries, the Localising Food Project is sharing the best, most successful working models of local food initiatives happening in schools, neighbourhoods and backyards around New Zealand.

Robina passionately believes in the difference this information can make. "The positive effects of these models on people's lives, their health and economic well-being is staggering,” she enthuses.

“In New Zealand, 'the land of plenty', we have a crisis of food affordability and diet-related illness that especially affects our children and is set to get worse. We have to do something and these examples show we can,” she states.

“Our mission is to use these inspiring how-to stories to mobilise people to replicate the proven solutions as widely and quickly as possible. I guess you could say we’re trying to encourage a local food revolution to achieve this.”

From her experiences here and overseas in recent years, Robina had become increasingly concerned about food security issues, while at the same time observing the upward trend in local food initiatives in this country.

So in November 2012, she took a team of volunteer educators and documentary makers on a six-month nationwide tour, running seminars and hands-on workshops, developing local food resilience action plans, setting up school seed banks, forming local food networks and filming 250 flourishing local food projects.

These film stories are being loaded onto the Localising Food Project website and made into five DVD documentaries. The first two, Growing Schools and Fruits and Nuts Unlimited, will be launched by the end of this year (completion funds pending).

“These film stories showcase powerful, but often simple, local solutions to the big issues,” says Robina. “We see people empowered to take responsibility in their own lives through their food. You can’t get more fundamental than that.

Film stories and documentary trailers can be viewed on the Localising Food Project website: http://localisingfood.com/

The Localising Food Project is run as an initiative of the Institute of Earthcare Education Aotearoa, a NZ registered charitable trust.

Robina McCurdy was a founder of Tui Community, one of New Zealand's longest-standing intentional communities. She works as a community development facilitator, organic gardener and permaculture educator, Her vision and passion has enabled her to draw in dozens of people to give time to the Localising Food Project, which has come this far built on gifted work and private donations.

Robina is a lively and articulate interviewee offering insight, inspiration and riveting descriptions of her first-hand experiences of food security crises and solutions she has encountered in New Zealand and around the world.

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