Some of our services are closed or have different hours over Easter, from Friday 7 April to Monday 10 April.

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Please note: if you are looking for information on how to access the Boroondara Cooks program as a diner rather than as a volunteer cook, see our Help accessing meals page.

Boroondara Cooks is a meal-sharing and community-strengthening program that connects people who like to cook with an older resident in our community. Volunteers share an extra portion of their home-cooked meal with an older resident on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

It aims to support older residents who live in their own home but find it difficult to prepare a nutritious meal on a regular basis. 

For older residents, receiving a home-cooked meal and having a conversation with a volunteer can create connection, ease feelings of isolation and have a positive impact on mental health.

The program is run by our Active Ageing team and is an important part of our efforts to create an age-friendly community.

How it works

Volunteer cooks prepare and deliver a regular meal to a local diner. Volunteers can choose who they would like to cook for. We try to match cooks and diners who share something in common, whether that's interests, food preferences or location.

The program involves:

  1. cooking your usual meal
  2. plating up an extra portion
  3. delivering the extra portion to an older resident and taking the time to say hello. 

The program relies on volunteer cooks committing to deliver meals to the same diner on a regular basis – which could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. However, cooks can certainly take breaks - we just ask that you let your diner know in advance.


Before commencing with the program, volunteer cooks must complete:

  • a food safety and hygiene learning program and quiz (please allow 30 to 60 minutes to complete)
  • the online child safety module (please allow 30 to 45 minutes to complete)
  • a Police Check specific to the Boroondara Cooks program.
  • sign a volunteer agreement
  • provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (doses 1 and 2).

The Program Coordinator will request to meet with you and guide you through the process to complete all necessary paperwork. At this meeting, you can also discuss suitable diners in your area.

How to become a volunteer cook

To join as a volunteer cook:

  1. Complete and pass the Do Food Safely quiz-external site. Please keep a copy of the certificate as you will need to forward this to the Program Manager.
  2. Complete the application form.

Our Boroondara Cooks Program Coordinator will then contact you to guide you through the induction process.

More information

For more information about the program, you can contact the Boroondara Cooks Program Coordinator by emailing [email protected] or calling us on (03) 9278 4777.

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