Around 30 front line support workers from child and family, early education and disability services recently attended a training session to learn how to deliver the Food Smart program to support families to save money by reducing food waste at home.
Among the participants were Valley Industries, MSS and Uniting.
A collaboration between Mid Coast 4 Kids and MidWaste will see the Food Smart program delivered through case management support, group settings and day programs.
The program has been customised for the community services sector to provide a free resource that can help local families save up to $4000 a year by making better use of the food they buy.
Bree Katsamangos, program manager with Mission Australia and convenor of Mid Coast 4 Kids said Food Smart provided many benefits, not only for the environment but for individuals and families who will be supported to better plan for the efficient use of household resources and improve health and wellbeing.
"These life skills are becoming more vital, as the cost of living continues to rise and household budgets have to stretch further," Ms Katsamangos said.
"We have worked closely with MidWaste to refine the Food Smart program, to make it accessible and an enjoyable experience for the whole family."
Wendy Grant, MidWaste project officer, said families taking part in the customised Food Smart program will receive a kit with step-by-step action cards, a menu planner and shopping list pad, and a set of reusable produce bags to keep fruit and veg fresh.
"The kit also includes a series of recipe cards for affordable, healthy, family-friendly meals that make it easy to use up leftovers, like meatloaf, muffins, frittatas and smoothies," Ms Grant said.
"The program takes families through five simple steps - know your waste, plan your meals, shop with a list, keep it fresh, and love your leftovers."
The community service staff will now undertake the Food Smart program to experience the results in their own homes before rolling it out with clients.
The general Food Smart program is also available for free to all local families.
Sessions will be held at Harrington Library on February 25, Gloucester Library on February 28, Forster Library on March 28 and Tea Gardens Library on June 12.
The Food Smart project is a NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Waste Less Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.
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