SHIFT | Sustainable Healthy Integrated Food Towns.

What is SHIFT?

SHIFT stands for Sustainable Healthy Integrated Food Towns. It is an emerging social enterprise and circular economy in the Hepburn Shire, powered by Health Futures Australia, and conceptualised over the past two years via project groups called “Healthy Together Labs” across the Hepburn Shire.
SHIFT is a multi-system facility providing farm gate sales, aquaponics producing fish, vegetables and herbs; biogas for energy; and a healthy lunch kitchen initially servicing schools within the shire.
SHIFT connects people and producers in a local circular economy for a sustained healthy food system.

SHIFT creates a regional circular economy with local, seasonal produce at its heart.

SHIFT is made up of a number of smaller projects, which when fully operational, will work in synchronicity to power a local social enterprise that will create jobs and learning pathways, establish new channels and fair prices for local farmers and producers, reduce waste and improve the wellbeing of the local community.

As a health promotion charity, HFA is focussed on the prevention of chronic disease and promotion of nutritious food, specifically increasing vegetable consumption in children and young people’s diets. Therefore our goal is to promote and increase the consumption of in-season vegetables and fruit to ensure the benefits of good nutrition is understood, accessible and affordable to all.

The first SHIFT project prototype and trial is taking place right now in the Hepburn Shire. It is the heart of the SHIFT model, and it’s called the Healthy Lunch Kitchen.

Where did the idea come from?

In 2018 HFA started working with the Central Highlands Regional Partnership in Victoria, with funding from the then Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to initiate a regional mobilisation and design for a healthy region.

One part of the response was the design of a Healthy Together Hepburn Shire, from which SHIFT (Sustainable Healthy Integrated Food Towns) evolved – a powerful and impactful preventive health intervention.

Learn more about the Healthy Lunch Kitchen and Young Growers Program

Family Cooking School

As part of the Healthy Lunch Kitchen we aim to develop and run a Family Cooking School. The school will offer cooking classes for families (face to face, and/or online), and those who support families like Family Daycare carers. To design the program we will use the best available evidence and programs underway to shape an engaging two to four sessions on nutrition, healthy seasonal purchasing and cooking, and cooking skills. We aim to deliver up to four schools per year for families, children, and young people in the community with local chefs, cooks, nutritionists, and producers involved.


Get in touch.

Together, we can create a better wellbeing future for everyone.