Institute for Urban Indigenous Health provides vital support to South East Queensland Indigenous population

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) is one of Foodbank Queensland’s 250 Member Charities providing vital support services to Queenslanders in need. IUIH was established in 2009 by the four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services in South East Queensland to provide for the health needs of Australia’s largest Indigenous population.

IUIH Nurse Supervisor Rebecca Edwards said emergency food relief, in the form of food hampers, is part of the ‘wrap around’ service they provide to families seeking support.

“By helping reduce the immediate worry of getting food on the table, we are able to free up space to work with families towards their other goals. One of our key principles in our program is self-efficacy, so in conjunction with providing food hampers, we also empower our families with nutritional and cooking education, budgeting, and meal planning,” she said.

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Through their emergency food relief program, IUIH receives food from Foodbank to primarily support first-time mums having  Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander babies.

“The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) is a nurse-led home visiting program which empowers and informs first-time Indigenous mums or mums whose partner is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and supports them to reach their personal goals and grow strong, healthy families. Our families access varying levels of support depending on their needs, including financial, social and housing support,” Rebecca said.

While visiting the team at IUIH, we had the pleasure of meeting Kaytana, one of the first-time mums receiving a hamper that day, and her 6-month-old son. Kaytana told us that her and her partner both lost their jobs during COVID-19, and with her partner being unable to access Government support, they have been struggling to afford life’s essentials ever since.

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Kaytana was delighted to be receiving a hamper filled with food and groceries, including rice, pasta, sauces, canned vegetables, cereal, milk, personal care items and baby products.

“Thank you, Foodbank! As a mum struggling to afford food for my family, the Foodbank hampers help me so much,” Kaytana said.

IUIH Nurse Supervisor Rebecca said Foodbank allows IUIH to provide initial food stability to families like Kaytana’s, which enables IUIH to continue working with and supporting families in other aspects of their lives.

“We started using Foodbank in 2018 to support our clients and families, and it has been invaluable ever since,” Rebecca said.

If you are a Queensland charity, Foodbank Queensland membership is a great way to support your food relief projects, offering your organisation a reliable source of food and groceries all year round.