By Kathy Te Nuku
At Harris Park Prestige Packing Co, a business service of Flourish Australia, we noticed that a lot of employees were not bringing or buying their lunch. A lot of people would actually be skipping meals. We talk a lot about obesity, but less about not eating and skipping meals. This is also a widespread problem. It’s hard to watch, too. We worked out a way around that.
I found out just through interviewing people that there are companies like Cave Man Kitchen or Tender Loving Cuisine that can help people with meal preparation. NDIS core supports funding will pay a certain amount for meal preparation and employees pay for the ingredients.
We have 15 to 20 employees who go through Tender loving Cuisine. They do all sorts of very healthy meals. ‘They love the meals, which get delivered to home every fortnight. It also helps people with budgeting. You get 14 meals and 8 desserts and I think it costs $50 to $70.
It takes a little pressure off people and actually encourages them in the long run to take an active interest in doing their own food preparation. There can be a number of barriers to that to begin with, not just the motivation and the knowledge, but the need for cooking and food preparation utensils, and a working oven.
We tried a canteen concept here, like they have at Prestige Packing Co. Marrickville, but it didn’t last long. We often have a fruit box where we bring in fruit for everybody. There are some companies that actually will donate fruit for this purpose.
Once people are eating regularly, we can make an event out of meal time. That is where International Cuisine Days comes in, once a month at Harris Park. It pushes their confidence up.
Eating is a social thing and meal time is very important.