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Boroondara Cooks is a meal sharing and community strengthening program. It connects people who like to cook with an older resident in our community.

Volunteer cooks share an extra portion of their home-cooked meal with an older resident on a regular basis. This could be once a week, once every two weeks or once a month.  

The program supports older residents who live in their own home but find it hard to prepare regular nutritious and healthy meals.

How to become a volunteer cook

To join as a volunteer cook:

  1. Use our online form to express your interest in becoming a volunteer cook. 
    Express your interest
  2. Complete the online food safety and hygiene quiz, Do Food Safely. Allow 30 minutes to one hour to do the quiz. Please keep a copy of the certificate as you will need to send it to our Program Coordinator. 
  3. Complete an online National Police Check for the Boroondara Cooks program. 
  4. Complete induction to finalise paperwork with the program coordinator. This includes signing our volunteer agreement and providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination (doses 1 and 2). 

After you fill in the expression of interest form, our Boroondara Cooks Program Coordinator will contact you. They will guide you through the registration process and discuss suitable older residents (diners) in your area. 

You will need to commit to volunteering with the program for at least 6 months.

How the program works

Volunteer cooks commit to delivering meals to the same diner on a regular basis. Volunteers can take breaks, but they should tell their diner in advance.  

Volunteers can choose who they would like to cook for. We try to match cooks and diners who share something in common. This could be interests, food preferences or location.

As a volunteer cook you need to: 

  • cook your usual meal
  • plate up an extra portion
  • deliver the meal to an older resident and take the time to say hello. 

Benefits for older residents

As a volunteer, you can support an older resident’s wellbeing by providing a home-cooked meal and having a conversation. For diners, the program can:

  • create connection
  • ease feelings of isolation
  • have a positive impact on mental health.

The program is part of our efforts to create an age-friendly community.

More information

To find out how to access the Boroondara Cooks program as a diner, visit our Help accessing meals page.

For more information about the program email the Active Ageing team at [email protected] or call us on (03) 9278 4777.

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