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Your venue can play an important role in promoting health and supporting active lifestyles and healthy eating. Providing healthier food and drinks sends a message to the community about what is healthy as well as encouraging healthy eating behaviour. While you and your food service have made a great start to achieving long term change, it is now time to have a food service policy that everyone can follow for years to come. The policy will have clear guidelines for the purchase, promotion and sale of food and drinks.

Your food service policy will demonstrate your commitment to providing healthy choices and a positive image.

Participants, spectators and the wider community will associate your food service with good health and recognise this as a wonderful contribution to encouraging healthy behaviour.

1.  Form a committee or group

Get together people you know are committed to a healthier food service. This may include club committee members, other adults who support the food service and even a local health worker such as a community dietitian, public health nutritionist or general practitioner. If your club includes junior athletes, you can ask one or two to join the food service committee because young people can often provide ideas and insight that would not be thought of by an adult. Although we have provided you with a Policy Template, we are also very happy to help you develop your policy over the phone or via email.

2.  Decide what to put in your policy

Use the Policy Template provided as a template or guide. This template has been used by many successful schools and sports canteens in the past. Allow members to provide feedback on your policy. You may want to add extra aspects to the policy, such as information about allergies and anaphylaxis. Information to assist you may be found on the Anaphylaxis Australia website. Refer to the Resources section for contact details.

3.  Endorse your policy

To give your policy a bit of extra clout, have it signed by at least three people. Those people can be:

Food Service Manager/Catering Manager
Club President
Public Health Nutritionist/Dietitian
Mayor or Shire President
Local Member of Parliament
Venue Manager

With at least three people signing and endorsing the policy it shows that the food service is ready for long term change. If you are able to get a local politician or health worker to sign, then you are also more likely to attract media attention (we discussed dealing with the media in Step 7).

4.  Implement your policy

Put your new policy into practice. Make sure all paid staff and volunteers in your food services know of the new policy. Give each one a written copy of the policy and have a laminated copy on the food service notice board. Also table the policy at your club or association committee meeting. If you have a club website, have the policy as a PDF for viewing or download. Not only is this helpful to club members, other clubs will hopefully follow your lead.

The community will know that a policy has been developed and that your venue is dedicated to providing healthy food and drinks at your events.

5.  Review your policy

Make sure that your policy is working well in practice. Set a date to review the policy in case any changes need to be made. We find that the policy is best reviewed after six months to ensure it suits your club, and every 1-2 years thereafter.

Click here to download a Policy Template

 
 

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