Skip to content

Neighbourhood Cooks, formally known as Casserole Club, is a meal sharing program that connects people who like to cook with older residents in the Merri-bek Community to help people share extra portions of home-cooked food with others in their area who are not always able to cook for themselves.

The Neighbourhood Cooks programs aims to support older residents who live in the own home but find it difficult to prepare a nutritious meal on a regular basis.

Merri-bek City Council has been working in partnership with Uniting a respected organisation with experience in managing volunteer programs since 2014 in delivering this program formerly known as the Casserole Club to the Merri-bek Community. The program is run in collaboration with Uniting’s volunteer network and Merri-bek City Council Aged and Community Support programs through the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

  • How it works

    • Volunteers cooks prepare their usual meals making an extra portion
    • They then plate up an extra portion and deliver the extra portion to an older resident, taking some time to connect and say hello
    • You can choose to cook at a time that is convenient on a regular basis which could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly
    • Cooks can certainly take breaks – just let your diner know in advance.


    Before commencing with the program, volunteer cooks must complete:

    • a food safety quiz
    • a Police Check specific to the Neighbourhood Cooks – Merri-bek
    • agree to meet with program coordinator to guide you through the process to complete all necessary paperwork. At this meeting you can also discuss suitable diners in your area.

    How to join


    To join as a volunteer cook:

    1. Complete the online application form
    2. Pass the food safety quiz
    3. Send your certificate to the Program Coordinator at 
    4. The Neighbourhood Cooks – Merri-bek Program Coordinator will then contact you to guide you through the induction process.

    To join as a diner please complete the online application form

    More information 

    For more information or to join, contact the Neighbourhood Cooks team at Uniting on 8538 7300 or email Neighbourhood Cooks at