The cooking group at our Armadale supported independent living residence is not only learning great cooking skills, they’re helping to save the planet!

All their ingredients are supplied - free - by SecondBite, a community organisation that redistributes surplus fresh food from supermarkets, farms and other sources that would otherwise go to landfill.

“SecondBite is amazing, we’re so lucky to have it,” says Dan Richards, a support worker at the Armadale residence. 

“Going to SecondBite and cooking together is the core of our week. It’s great fun and the whole process of collaborating on what we’ll cook, going out to SecondBite to pick it up, preparing it together and eating it – it really brings us all together.”

Many people who use our services have not learnt how to cook for themselves or what a positive impact good nutrition can have on daily wellbeing. This makes cooking groups an important activity at these residences, which support people with mental ill-health to build their skills for independent living in the community. 

Shopping and preparing food together also improves the group members’ social connections and community participation. 

Three people cooking in a kitchen

“We are there to keep an eye on things in the kitchen but we encourage everyone to do as much as they can for themselves,” Dan says as the kitchen crew behind her prepare potatoes and asparagus for roasting. 

“They are not only learning new skills from staff, but they’re learning from and teaching each other,” Dan says.

“And best of all, there’s no waste. Anything that’s too soiled is put into the compost for our vegetable garden.”

You can learn more about Mind’s residential services, group recreation and leisure activities in your area by calling Mind Connect on 1300 286 463.

Five people standing and holding plates of food