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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Mai Wiru foodcard



The Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council and member stores have long recognised the need for people to have additional support in making healthy choices and having those choices upheld. To do this the Mai Wiru group of stores have introduced the Mai Wiru foodcard (the FoodCard). This is based on a card used by the ALPA (Arnhem Land Progress Association) group of stores in the top end. It was designed as a family budgeting tool for healthy food throughout the pay cycle.

The FoodCard is completely voluntary. Anangu (Indigenous people on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara - APY - Lands) receiving wages and salaries can use the FoodCard by depositing money on it, and card holders can add selected family members' photo ID to the card to enable its use in their absence or other circumstances. The money deposited onto the card can then be used to purchase healthy food and essential items only.

Using the FoodCard protects families from pressures to spend voluntarily quarantined money on non-essential items.

A broad range of fresh, tinned, dry and frozen healthy foods, plus essential items, can be purchased with the FoodCard. These items are selected based on their nutritional value, whilst items such as soft drinks, confectionery and tobacco products can't be purchased using the card.

Abstract adapted from Mai Wiru


Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council Aboriginal Corporation
3 Wilkinson Street
Alice Springs NT 0870
PO Box 4515
Alice Springs NT 0871
Ph: (08) 8950 6841
Fax: (08) 8953 8666

Related publications

Barnes A, Djalangi D (2008)

Impact of a community store based budgeting tool (FOODcard) on customer purchasing patterns in a remote Indigenous community in East Arnhemland, Northern Territory.

Paper presented at the National Nutrition Networks Conference 08: good tucker good health. 11-14 March 2008, Alice Springs, NT


Last updated: 11 May 2015
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