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REDi for healthy eating

FoodREDi volunteers give local kids and community members a taste of our healthy eating workshops

How many of us know exactlyhow to read the food label on the side of our cereal box?

Last week in Adelaide, local school children and community members explored vital nutritional information like this, when our newest FoodREDi volunteers ran a special training session at the Kilburn Peace and Welcome Community Garden.

The event was arranged to highlight our work to our new funding partner, ALDI, and connect with the wider community. The superstore has pledged a generous donation over two years to help us train a workforce of volunteers who will, in turn, reach thousands of vulnerable people around Australia with our food education and nutrition workshops.

ALDI Australia is proud to support Red Cross and put in place a program that delivers information about affordable and healthy food. - Tom Daunt, CEO, ALDI Australia

Tara Signoriello is one of our passionate volunteer recruits. Having studied nutrition at University, she heard about our FoodREDi workshops from a friend who was already involved. Tara knew it would be a great way to gain experience and share her passion for good food.

"[FoodREDi] takes a lot of the things that I studied at University, and it takes that knowledge and simplifies it so everyone can understand and use it," Tara said.

"I think many people don't really realise the impact that nutrition has on their life… that what they eat has a direct impact on their health and any illnesses they might have.

"They might be buying all these processed foods thinking that it's cheaper but when they learn the raw foods are better value it helps them to make great changes in their life."

At the community event, Tara put her training into practice with a 'REDi-to-save' workshop on how to decrease the cost of groceries, and reduce food waste. At other food stations, our guests explored recommended serving sizes, food labels on the side of pre-packaged food, and they tried out some delicious and healthy recipes. And at the end of the day, everyone came together to make healthy burgers for a shared lunch.

When our new volunteer facilitators are fully qualified and ready to lead formal FoodREDi workshops, they'll be incorporating each of these education sessions into a six-week health lifestyle program. Assisting people to eat healthy food regularly is an investment in the long term health of Australian families and communities. And with one in ten people saying they can't afford to buy enough food, we're very grateful to ALDI for their donation of $300,000/year for at least two years, helping us to extend the reach of this vital program.

We'd also like to thank our facilitators for embracing the opportunity to show the public their new training skills, and the Kilburn Peace and Welcome Garden for accommodating our event.

On a day to day basis, the Kilburn Peace and Welcome Garden provides a safe space for asylum seekers, refugees, school parents and neighbours to connect and explore food cultivation and preparation. It is a place where people can come together to enjoy cooking facilities, harvesting of rain water, shaded seating, fruit trees and irrigated garden beds to grow herbs and vegetables.