Become Involved in Community Foodies
As a Foodie
To become a Foodie, you need to have a local Community Foodies site. Sites are managed by local health professionals including social workers, dietitians/nutritionists and community development workers, which are referred to as Program Workers. Click here to find your local site.
The Foodie Job Description
The role as a volunteer Community Foodie is summarized as:
Leading the community through example, by modeling healthy eating and a willingness to learn and develop skills to support your community to make healthy eating an easy choice.
Working with the community and program workers to develop quality programs that meet the needs of the community
Deliver simple, easy to understand messages and practical skills to support healthy eating at a community level
To become a Foodie, you need to undertake 24 hours of training – generally one four hour session each week, for six weeks. The training is free of charge, and delivered by Program Workers. The training covers:
A social view of health (taking a broad view of what makes us healthy - for example, having a house and enough money also affects our health)
Basic nutrition with a focus on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating
Group work and presentation skills
Planning and evaluation skills
An opportunity for all Foodies to practice a presentation they would like to give in the community
Once Foodies have completed their training they are registered as volunteers by the lead associating organisation (health service or local council) and work in partnership with health workers and other Foodies to promote healthy eating in the community. Foodies are partnered with ‘Buddies’, who act as a mentor for the Foodie. They provide advice and assistance around implementing and planning Foodie activities and programs, and can also support through debriefing Foodies about their experiences. Buddies can be local program workers, or other professionals from the local agencies partnered with the program. Buddies can also be other Foodies who are experienced with the program.
Benefits to Foodies
Foodies can undertake further training with TAFE after completing Community Foodies Training. To find out more, contact your local site and program workers. Skills gained through Foodie training and activity with the community have also contributed to some Foodies gaining employment in health care sectors, schools and other settings.
Other benefits to being a Community Foodie, as reported by Foodies, include:
Improvement in general health status
Increase in nutritional knowledge
Improvement in cooking skills
Improvement of teaching skills
Increased quality of life
Want to Know More?
To find out about Community Foodies in your local area- see the Contact Us page.
As a Health or Community Worker
Health or Community Workers can contact their local site to become involved in the Community Foodies program. If there is no local site, you can start the program in your area. To do this, you need:
A local health service or council to auspice the program
Commitment by management of this organisation
To identify nutrition as a priority issue and have skilled/qualified staff
At least two staff sharing a minimum of 0.6 FTE across positions. Ideally one of these staff should be a Dietitian and one a health worker with community development background. Staffing should ideally be stable for at least 2 years.
Commitment to Primary Health Care and Community development approaches
In addition to the auspicing organisation you will need at least two other partner organisations to support the program.
One of the key features of this program is that it is multi-disciplinary in nature and the program is open to all health and community workers, not solely Dietitians/Nutritionists.
In addition to dedicated FTE, a budget for program operations needs to be resourced to cover expenses such as:
Foodie recruitment and program promotion
Foodie training and PD
Basic ‘kit’ of equipment
Travel reimbursement, honorariums and other expenses for Foodies
Some food/cooking expenses, hire of venues
Program Worker Training
Once the above has been achieved than workers must attend program worker training provided by the state Community Foodies teams. Training is offered over two days and covers the philosophy of the program which is based on the principles of community development and peer education. It also includes recruitment, retention, evaluation, sustainability and the training of community members, as Foodies.
How are local sites supported?
The program is supported by two groups:
The Alliance and
The Strategic Management Group.
The Alliance is made up of Program Workers involved in the program and supports the development and implementation of the program on the ground. The Strategic Management Group is made up of a mix of community, program personnel and key stakeholders and it provides support and direction to the Program Manager on the strategic direction and sustainability of this complex program.
For any new site enquiries please contact the SA Community Foodies Manager for an information pack.
As a Partner
Partnerships are critical to the success of the Community Foodies program and partners in the project across South Australia collaborate in many ways. Examples include:
- Funding support
- Staff offering support to the Foodies
- Staff assisting in Foodie training
- Provision of venues where the Foodies can work
Partners for the State-wide Program:
- Housing SA
- TAFE SA
- Red Cross
- Community Houses SA (formerly CANH-Community and Neighbourhood Houses Association)
- Lutheran Community Care
Examples of local partners include local government/councils, Lutheran Community Care, United Care Wesley and local health care services.
Program Outcomes for Organisations
Previous evaluation of outcomes for organizations involved in program has shown the following outcomes:
- 44% reported an increase in the number of nutrition programs offered
- 32% reported the numbers for their nutrition programs had increased as a result of the Foodies program
- 32% had changed their nutrition policies or practices
Want to become a partner at a state level?
Contact the manager of the SA Community Foodies State Team.
Want to become a partner at a local level?
Contact the Key Worker of your local site.