Eating With Friends
Eating With Friends (EWF) is a social eating program that works from a community development framework to create regular social eating opportunities in local communities across Tasmania.
EWF is about:
- bringing people together for a nutritious meal and making new friends
- reducing social isolation and improving wellbeing by creating regular opportunities for social connection
- working with communities and volunteer groups to organize and run regular group meals
- having fun and conversations (click here for the EWF Brochure)
A brief history
The first EWF group started in 2000. It grew out of concern from Meals on Wheels volunteers that so many older people were eating alone. A group of community workers and volunteers looked at ways to bring socially isolated older people together to share a meal and to enjoy the company of others. A lunch group was set up and proved very popular! More information can be found in our 16 Years On Booklet.
There are currently 34 EWF groups operating around the state (click here for a list of EWF groups locations).
Models of EWF groups
There is no fixed format on how an EWF group should be run, just guiding principles. The original 3 models of EWF groups are used as a guide, with individual groups encouraged to address the needs in their own community and utilise their local resources. Groups operate on a cost recovery basis.
- Community Based Model / Eating In: community groups and volunteers organise and host a meal at a local community venue
- Eating Out Model: groups visit cafes and restaurants, or volunteers host a meal and outsource the meal preparation
- School Model: students organise and host a meal at their school or community venue
The benefits of social eating
The social aspects of meal times have been identified as an integral part of the eating process. Eating as a social activity is a way of connecting and interacting with other people. Social isolation, which is the lived experience of many older people, is identified as a factor that interferes with their ability to eat well. Research shows that the social experience around meal times can make a big difference to appetites (click here to read more about the benefits of social eating).
EWF Action Kit
An Action Kit is available to assist in the establishment of an Eating With Friends (EWF) Group. The EWF concept is a very flexible model that can be adapted across a broad range of locations and interest groups.
For more information about EWF contact:
phone: (03) 6228 6515
What people say about EWF
“You can sit next to a total stranger and you end up chatting away like you’ve known them all your life” (participant)
“I like helping others. It makes me feel good about giving something back to the community I live in” (volunteer)
“I have made new friends, we do other things together and I look forward to coming along every time.” (participant)
“It’s not only what you eat, it’s not only the fun that you have, it’s what you are doing with your heart that makes you really happy." (volunteer)
Eating With Friends - 2019 Newsletters
EWF newsletter from 2019.
Eating With Friends - 2018 Newsletters
2018 EWF newsletters
Eating With Friends Research and Evaluation
EWF related research and evaluation information