Curtin University, Australia
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Nutr Food Sci
Background: The Charitable Food System (CFS), consisting of services such as food banks and food pantries/ shelves, has become an irreplaceable solution to food poverty for the growing number of individuals experiencing chronic food insecurity in high-income countries. However, the quality of foods provided is nutritionally poor. This is alarming considering the vulnerability of the client group, and the well-established association between food insecurity and non-communicable disease. Over several decades there has been a proliferation of different approaches to measuring the nutritional quality of foods, but a comprehensive overview of the nutritional quality of food provided by Australian food banks is missing, despite operating nationwide and considered to be a well-organized ‘industry’. This protocol describes the methods used to document the type and amount of food delivered to an Australian food bank, to enable the nutritional quality of foods to be determined. Methodology: A photographic audit of all deliveries (procured or donated) received at a food bank warehouse in Perth; Western Australia was conducted over five days in May 2022. Photographs were taken of each delivery by a mobile device and manually annotated with the donor’s name, total weight (kg) and date marking details. Using data extracted from the photographs (e.g., product, brand name, variety) and annotations, an inventory was constructed. Nutritional quality of each product was assessed using the principles of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and the NOVA classification of level of food processing. Findings: Approximately 1500 photographic images were collected for 74 deliveries from 41 unique donors. The total weight of deliveries received was 10.8513 kilograms. Conclusion: Analysis of findings will provide insight into the nutritional profile of the inventory; identify opportunities to guide procurement decisions and product selections, and inform organizational policy.
Sharonna Mossenson is trained in nutrition and dietetics; she always had a compelling desire to work in public health nutrition. Her career has afforded her the opportunity to work across a number of different community settings in Western Australia (WA), which provided a solid grounding in the area of food classification and policy for public health interventions across hospitals, schools, workplaces and sports clubs. Her work within the Australian immigration detention network as a consultant dietitian provided a unique opportunity to hone her knowledge of food service systems and logistics in challenging, politically-charged circumstances, But more importantly, to be an advocate for vulnerable groups, for better nutrition. Her current research interests are a culmination of her work to date and continue her interest in public health nutrition.