A dual-purpose program that does the following:
1) A free cooking program specifically aimed at local people deemed disadvantaged e.g. disability, mental health, or challenging family situations or other forms of adversity. Participants work in pairs with a volunteer mentor to cook a variety of recipes one evening a week over one school term.
2) The meals prepared are frozen and distributed to those in need within our local community.
- Muffins are sold in the café to raise funds for the program
- Half of the savoury dish made is served at the weekly community dinner on Sunday nights (See link to ‘The Table’)
- The other half is packaged into take away containers and frozen for distribution to people in need, e.g. those struggling financially, impacted by illness etc…
What do participant get out of this program?
- Cooking skills including muffins and healthy savoury meals
- Experience in a commercial kitchen
- Safe food handing knowledge and certificate
- Communication and social skills
- Personal Confidence
- Teamwork experience and development
- Development of organisational and problem-solving skills
- Social Connection
- Sense of giving back to community and helping others in need
- Individual goal setting in conjunction with the coordinator and support to attain goals
- Skills to add to CV
- Increased employability
- Certificate of achievement
- A work reference upon completion.
The Community Meals Program was started in 2020 and runs 1-2 nights a week depending on enrolments. This program commenced with support from Baptist Care SA and City of Tea Tree Gully. Soul Food Christian Community supports the ongoing costs of this program through fundraising events and generous giving of its members. Ask us about our next fundraising event or how you can support the program.
Feedback and Testimonials:
“I didn’t want the course to end. The thing I liked the most was to read the recipes independently. I learnt how good at cooking I am and I enjoy it. I really liked it and the people, they are really nice and supportive. I liked everything about it.“
“I liked being able to work in a group and cooking meals for people in need. I learned I can work better when I have someone I can talk to and ask for help. I am now able to cook food myself without needing anyone to check up on me. Thank you for the opportunity to cook meals with you.”
“There was nothing I didn’t enjoy. I learnt I’m pretty good at cooking. I feel more comfortable talking to new people and I feel more confident in a kitchen. I wouldn’t change anything. It was really fun and the food was good.”
From Parents of Participants:
Father of our first ever participant, 2020.
“My son used your certificate in his resume. He found employment and has since completed a Barista Course. McDonald’s are now helping him work toward a career as a Barista. He loved your program and looked forward to it every week. He really liked his mentor and the other participant. Thank you.”
Term 4 2021 Mother of participant.
“I just wanted to say how grateful I am that you have included my son in this program and accommodated him. Other cooking classes have refused to have him based on his Autism diagnosis. Since I stopped working to home-school earlier this year I have been with him from the moment he wakes until he goes to sleep, which is 16-18 hours, much of it one on one. Last night was literally the first hour I have spent alone for a VERY long time and I just sat at home and enjoyed it! I really do appreciate how inclusive you are.”
Term 1 2022 Mother of participant.
“My son did community meals then did some volunteer work in the cafe. His resume looked great with these experiences and when he applied for two jobs he got an interview for both and was offered both positions. His references and experience from Community Meals made all the difference.”
From the Community:
From the front office staff at a local school:
I just wanted to say how wonderful you all are, Today I spoke to our Pastoral Care Worker and told her a family is going through a tough time (child is in hospital with the mum) and dad, nanna and grandma are helping with the 3 other children at home and she picked up some food from you, The nanna was so grateful so I wanted to say how amazing you all are for what you do. You make a massive difference.
How can you be involved?
- Is there someone you know who would benefit from this program? Why not tell them about CMP and forward them an application form?
- Donate to help us continue this program going (Go to our how to donate page)
- Consider if you could be a mentor or kitchen helper in our program
Call 8263 7707 or Email: email@example.com
Community Meals Program Coordinator: Skye Rogers
Soul Food Community Coordinator: Flick Pederick
Click the link below to apply to participate in the program!
The Community Meals Program has very generously received donations of food from SecondBite Australia, through Pathway Community Centre.