Heart of the issue

THE health of Latrobe Valley residents is still at the heart of local initiatives despite failing to attract funding from state and federal governments.

Healthy Together Latrobe – run in conjunction with Latrobe City Council, Latrobe Community Health Service and other local agencies – is facing a $700,000 funding shortfall.

However, Latrobe City mayor Dale Harriman is determined to see the initiative continue under council’s Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan.

“Council is only too aware of the challenging health statistics in Latrobe,” Cr Harriman said.

“And while a lot has been accomplished since the inception of Healthy Together Latrobe in partnership with LCHS, there is still more to be done.”

In three years Healthy Together Latrobe has created two nature-based walking programs, seven walking groups, and ride to school programs and route developments across Latrobe Valley.

Three community kitchens have been established in Boolarra, Moe and Traralgon, and a FOODcents program now runs in 16 schools and community agencies.

Last month more than 1000 people signed up to the Premier’s Active April challenge to receive a 10-pass voucher for Latrobe Leisure service centres.

It is all in a bid to get the community living a healthier and more active lifestyle, with last year’s launch of the LiveLighter campaign trying to change what residents eat and drink.

Only seven per cent of Latrobe Valley residents eat enough fruit and vegetables each day, with almost two thirds of the population either obese or overweight.

Cr Harriman said council would continue working with key partners “to deliver projects aimed at tackling these statistics”.

He allowed LiveLighter dietician Alison Ginn to critique his own ‘day on a plate’, encouraging the wider community to think smarter about their diet.