Casserole Club connecting the community

The City of Boroondara is recruiting cooks and diners to take part in Casserole Club, an innovative meals sharing pilot program that originated in the United Kingdom.

The Casserole Club, which is being piloted in Boroondara over the next six months, connects people who would like to share extra portions of home-cooked food with older neighbours, who might not be able to cook for themselves regularly.

Mayor of Boroondara, Councillor Coral Ross said the Casserole Club was an ideal volunteering program for busy people who are eager to find a way of giving back to the community.

“There’s no minimum obligation or ongoing commitments; cooks are typically people who would love to help their local community, but don’t feel they have the time.

“The Casserole Club allows busy people to volunteer in a way that suits their lifestyle, cooks just need to prepare an extra meal portion and deliver it to a diner in their neighbourhood.

“The program not only gives people an opportunity to share an extra portion of food when it is convenient to them, but through the program they have a chance to meet neighbours and help them remain independent. It’s as much about building relationships and a sense of community as it is about providing meals.

“Casserole Club has so many positives, it fosters connections between generations, tackles social isolation and offers flexible volunteering opportunities for busy people.

“This program has been an outstanding success in the United Kingdom, where more than 5,000 cooks have been signed up at more than 200 local authorities.”

The City of Boroondara has been chosen as one of only three Victorian councils to receive Victorian Government funding to trial the community-volunteering program, which has been a great success in the United Kingdom since it began in 2012.

After joining, a cook and diner who live close to each other and enjoy the same types of food, are connected.

It could just be a one-off, or they might end up sharing meals regularly.

The Casserole Club funding has been provided by the Victorian Government’s Department of Health, and the Municipal Association of Victoria is
coordinating the project.