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Challenges of food security for migrants living in a regional area of Australia: food availability, accessibility and affordability
Background: Food security is a vital element for all, particularly people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) group such as migrants who have been identified as food insecure people in previous studies. However, there is limited understanding on migrants’ food security in the regional area of Australia, Tasmania. This paper reports on a study, which aimed to examine the experiences of migrants on food security in the regional area of Australia.
Methods: The cross-sectional study used questionnaires and interviews as a mixed method approach. The data was collected from 301 respondents and 33 interviewee migrants recruited via Migrant Resource Centers, cultural associations and snowball sampling. Descriptive and inferential statistics such as Chi-square tests and ordinal logistic regressions were employed as quantitative data analysis; while, thematic analysis was utilized in qualitative analysis.
Results/discussion: The majority (91.0%) of respondents did not encounter circumstance where they experienced having no food to eat. Half (50.2%) of respondents travelled more than 4 km to purchase food. In terms of food affordability, over half (55.8%) of respondents indicated the high food cost; nevertheless, a high proportion were neutral regarding their satisfaction with food cost. In addition, gender, length of stay in Tasmania and region of origin were significantly associated with a migrant’s experiences with food security. In interview data, three themes were identified: food availability, accessibility, and affordability. Interviewees expressed concern about the lack of certain cultural food in Tasmania. The strategic location of shops and living places eased the ability to access food. Additionally, the cost of food particularly cultural food, were much higher in Tasmania than in big cities of Australia.
Conclusion: The findings provide insight and understanding of migrants’ food security in Tasmania. There is a growing need to address food security policy related to migrants in order to improve the health and well-being of migrants in Australia.
Publication titleJournal of Food Security
Department/SchoolSchool of Health Sciences
PublisherScience and Education Publishing
Place of publicationUS
Rights statementCopyright 2014 Science and Education Publishing