Food: connecting & changing lives

Following a serious car accident, Maria found herself living in a wheelchair and having to build her resilience to cope with the loss she experienced and the impact upon her everyday life.  Maria found socialising and connecting with her community very difficult.

Through your donations, the Give Where You Live Foundation provided the Bellarine Living & Learning Centre with a Feed Geelong Grant to assist with the delivery of the FoodConnect program with the aim to improve the food security of young people who participate in the 3219 Youth Group.

Maria started attending the Centre along with her carer assisting cooking for the City of Greater Geelong Youth Space.  FoodConnect has encouraged Maria’s love of cooking she loved cooking in the young space and that it has given her great satisfaction knowing she has contributed to her community in a meaningful way.

During one of the classes, Maria asked if she could share her story so everyone could understand why she sometimes asks questions twice, or why she forgets things very easily. She went on to explain how she came to be in her current situation and the effects it has had on her life.  This was very touching for the group, and time is now built into classes for ‘Share Your Story’, giving all participants the opportunity to share their stories.

This has been an organic way the group has built their social connections and deepened their knowledge base in the kitchen at the same time. The connection between members in the group has been remarkable and has grown utilising community development principles such as inclusion, empowerment and self-determination.

Thanks to your support of the Foundation, not only have you supported the young people of 3219 with increased food security, experiencing healthier meals and healthier eating skills but you have also made an impact on the social connection between members in the group has been remarkable and has grown utilising a strength’s based approach.