The Bagala Community Store in Barunga will be the pilot site for a new trial in which free fruit and vegetables will be provided.
From July 1, all fruit and vegetables will be free to support customers and provide health benefits for the local community.
The Aboriginal Investment Group (AIG) said it would use its Barunga store as the pilot site as it was a culturally significant site and because it was one of the only sites in the country that was 100 per cent Aboriginal owned, staffed and managed.
They said they were confident they would be able to cope with the increase in customers from neighbouring communities seeking their share of free fruit and vegetables.
AIG believes the gains made from having free fruit and vegetables available in the store would increase through health gains made by improving nutrition in the community as a whole.
Chief executive officer Steve Smith said it was not the first time they had played around with the pricing of fruit and vegetables to promote increased consumption.
"Last year during the COVID community lockdown we reduced the price of fruit and vegetables to cost price in the stores that we manage, so people could afford to shop exclusively at their community store," he said.
"This move busted the myth that people don't eat fruit and vegetables because the sales data across all stores showed an average of 100 per cent increase in fruit and vegetable sales after the price drop."
Mr Smith said making the items free was taking their approach of affordable healthy food a step further.
"If we are serious about Closing the Gap then we need to be serious about improving the affordability of healthy food," he said.
"If we can do this as a small, independent provider, imagine what could be achieved if this was a widespread approach?"
AIG will be tracking sales data closely to watch consumer behaviour and believes there will be a positive outcome from the trial.
Mr Smith said there would be health benefits for the community from a measure such as this and wanted to see such approaches implemented at a wider level.
"The cost of illness prevention is far less than illness treatment," he said.
"We challenge the government to see this approach as being a huge cost saving measure, and in fact $1 spent in subsidising fruit and vegetables in community stores now could possibly save the government as much as $10 in treating chronic lifestyle diseases down the track."
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