African Youth Food Policy Study

Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition

Improving access to healthy, culturally-appropriate and affordable food among migrant communities is the focus of new research co-led by members of Melbourne’s African community, Dr Christina Zorbas and Khalid Muse.


In Australia, an estimated 1 in 2 people experienced difficulty accessing affordable food in 2023. Migrant communities in Australia, as well as in other high-income countries, often encounter significant barriers to obtaining culturally appropriate, healthy, and affordable food. Despite these challenges, migrant communities are frequently overlooked and excluded from food policy discussions and solutions. One clear example of this exclusion is the lack of data on the food insecurity experiences of migrant communities in Australia.


Our vision is to better include the voices and lived experiences of people from migrant communities and diverse cultural backgrounds in food systems decision-making.


This research has begun to pave the way for food policy priorities that reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian population, specifically drawing upon the perspectives of African young people.


Yarra Youth Services

The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)

Our 4 key evidence-informed policy asks that aim to foster cultural inclusivity in Australian food systems policy include:

  1. Amplify diverse community voices in policy decisions:
    Improve policy engagement efforts to reach migrant communities and tailor food policies.
  2. Increase access to and representation of cultural foods:
    Improve the availability of cultural foods a in neighbourhoods, supermarkets and reducing trade barriers to access.
  3. Offer additional supports for African food businesses:
    Identify avenues to support the economic prosperity and self-determination of communities through food businesses. Accessible food business grants, especially for African women, can be important support schemes.
  4. Enhance essential income and social supports for those experiencing food insecurity:
    Introduce measures like food vouchers to alleviate financial pressures.

This research project was funded under a Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Fellowship.

Video filmed by Neihana Tonkin and edited by The Seed Network.
Photography by Nighty Okot Photography.