Lunch @ Mine

November 10, 2015

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We have been running the Lunch @ Mine program here at Futures in Lilydale for the past 3 terms. It started off as cooking at our Futures premises, with each person choosing a meal that the group would cook that week. These were simple meals such as hot dogs and pizza on pre-packaged bases. As well as the actual cooking, the group learned the necessary hygiene practices and safety aspects involved with chopping and preparing foods and general cleaning up after the meal.

They also went out to local restaurants and learned about trying different types of food to expand their knowledge of, and increase their exposure to, different foods. After the meal, as a group, everyone would do an in- depth review of what they thought of their experience.

Over time the group have progressed to finding a recipe, making the shopping list of necessary ingredients, and independently doing the grocery shopping. We’ve moved the program away from the Futures’ site and group members now go to each others homes to cook for each other on a weekly rotation basis. The person whose home it is prepares all of the food and cooks the meals which have progressed to include home made pastas, pizza with home made bases, soups, roasts and desserts. They then plate and serve the meal to each of their guests. Following the meal the guests complete an independent review about how their host was in regards to service, friendliness, cleanliness, if they enjoyed the meal and if they would come back to the establishment again.

Lunch @ Mine has been such a success that families are visiting us at Futures to show us photos of their young adults independently re-creating these meals at home and letting us know they are generally becoming much more interested and helpful in the everyday preparation and cooking of meals for the family at home. What a success!

by Carolyn Martens


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