A new idea to improve neighbourliness and the wellbeing of older South Australians has just received funding for exploration from the Office for Ageing.
Flinders Nutrition & Dietetics has teamed with Test Kitchen, a social improvement enterprise, and creative culinary venture Post Dining, to explore new ways in which mealtimes can improve social engagement, heighten a sense of community, and promote better nutrition for older people.
The concept, designed by Matthew Haren and Julie-Ann Hill of Test Kitchen, uses creative tools to enhance social interaction at mealtimes. The vision is that by providing an experience beyond just serving food, mealtimes can become a way to get to know your neighbours, improve a neighbourhood’s sense of community, and reduce loneliness.
Hannah Rohrlach, representing both Flinders University and Post Dining, and Matthew Haren from Test Kitchen, successfully pitched for two-thirds of the $100,000 funding pool in the ‘Creating Better Neighbourhoods’ challenge run by the SA Health Office for the Ageing, facilitated by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation.
The concept of developing more social mealtimes has been successfully piloted in residential villages around South Australia over the past two years. The challenge now being tackled is to expand the idea beyond residential villages into suburban locations.
The project has started with Test Kitchen and Post Dining exploring new creative tools. These will be trialled in residential villages where Test Kitchen currently operates, and with new pilot groups in the community. Nutrition & Dietetics students will contribute to the project in 2019, to ensure sound nutrition practice.