Foothills Community Care

Providing meals, hospitality and a place to belong in the Dandenong Ranges and foothills of outer eastern Melbourne.

Click HERE to receive a meal for Mothers Day as part of our

Big Mothers Day Drive 2021


COVID-19 RESPONSE: Our latest updates, including guest and volunteer guidelines

Over the past 12 months, we have provided support in our local community by:


Serving Over
32,000 Fresh Meals


Delivering Over
10,000 Food Parcels


Rescuing Over
30 Tonnes of Food


Working With Over
250 Volunteers

Community Meal Nights

Meet new friends and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal in a safe and supportive environment.

A free meal and dessert

A delicious home-cooked main meal is served along with a fresh dessert. We believe that meals should be healthy and nutritious and to that end we cook our meals on the night using fresh ingredients.


Food to take home

We also have fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and eggs available to give away at the end of the night, courtesy of our friends at Second Bite. Often we have meals from the night for guests to take-away and reheat afterwards.


A friendly, safe space

We aim to provide a safe, positive and welcoming environment for people to enjoy their meal. We believe everyone should be treated equally with dignity and respect, and ensure that our guests have an enjoyable experience.

Ferntree Gully
Community Meal

Wednesday Nights

Ferntree Gully Girl Guides Hall.
Underwood Road, Ferntree Gully (next to the train station).


Since 2007 we have been providing Ferntree Gully locals with a meal and a place to hang out. We usually have around 65 people coming along and sharing a meal, a laugh, and a chat together, in a safe and positive atmosphere. Our doors open at 4.30pm, come in for a cuppa, a snack and and chat. Our home-cooked main meals are served at 6.30pm followed by a delicious dessert.

Visit our facebook page for updates

Community Meal

Monday Nights

Upwey Baptist Commuity Church.
Cnr Darling Ave & Burwood Hwy, Upwey (opposite train station).

Since 2015, Upwey Community Meal Nights have been held in partnership with Upwey Baptist Community Church. We usually have around 95 people coming along for a delicious meal and fellowship. We also have a room for kids to play in under supervision, ideal for those families with younger children. The community meal is held in the back hall of the church.

Visit our facebook page for updates

Our community meals rely on the generosity of volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or want more information on how you can get involved, please click on the button below.

Find out how to become a volunteer

Community Casseroles

During the current COVID 19 crisis, we are able to offer weekly cook-ups and free home delivered frozen meals and care packages to people in the Dandenong Ranges and Knox areas.

Click here to request a meal

What is Community

Community Casseroles cook as a community for the community. We run monthly community cook ups with rescued food, saving tonnes of food from landfill, and support our community with free home-cooked, home-delivered meals for anyone that needs them. We share about 2000 meals with our Dandenong Ranges and surrounds community every year, supported by over 50 active volunteers.

At some point everyone finds themselves needing a community around them and for many, when crisis hits, they have few supports and community connections to hold them. This isolation can make hard times so much harder. So many people struggle alone and it can be very hard to reach out and make those community connections when you're already experiencing overwhelm and stress.

Community Casseroles home delivers meals to those in our community having a hard time. There is no qualification to access Community Casseroles, if you need a meal we will be there, with a week's worth of dinners and a shared understanding that everyone has hard times and we all deserve kindness and dignity.

Through our regular Community Cook Ups we offer another way for everyone, especially those isolated or lonely in our community, to find a support network and build friendships. Community Casseroles gives people a way to contribute meaningfully to their community even when living busy lives. Community meals means no one has to struggle alone and strong communities can grow.

Visit our facebook page for updates

Image Image Image

Know someone who needs
loving from the oven?

Do you know someone who is in the Dandenong Ranges or foothills area, doesn’t have a lot of community support and could benefit from a home-cooked meal? We’d love to support families with new babies and no community to cook for them during those precious first days. Also those experiencing health or family crises who could use a little extra kindness from their community. We offer one-off meals as well as short term support.

If you know someone who could be uplifted by a little home-cooked love, you can nominate them for some kindness in a meal. If you could do with a hand yourself, please let us know.

Click here to request a meal

Love to cook?
Want to get involved?

We are currently meeting monthly for our Community Cook-ups, held out of Upwey Baptist Church. In the newly-renovated industrial kitchen there, we regularly cook and then freeze hundreds of delicious meals to share with those in our community who could do with a little help in the form of a pre-cooked meal.

Our meals are as much to feed the body as to feed the spirit. Our Cook-up volunteers share a meal together once the meals are packed. The act of cooking and sharing meals is encouraging and nourishing for both the receiver of the meal and the cook. We also welcome offers of small crafts or homemade cards to include with our care packages to offer some brightness and encouragement.

If you would like to find out more about joining us for cooking or contributing craft please have a look at our volunteer form.

Christmas Day Lunch

Join us for our 17th annual Fertree Gully Christmas Day Lunch with all the trimmings.

Image Image

Don’t spend Christmas
alone this year!

Don’t spend Christmas alone this year!

Since 2002 we have been hosting the Ferntree Gully Christmas Day Lunch on December 25th. The day is open to anyone in our local community, particularly to those who would normally be spending the day alone. 

This year, due to COVID restrictions we have had to change and adapt what we can offer.

Our 19th annual Ferntree Gully Christmas Lunch will still be going ahead in a COVID restricted format, this year on Thursday December 24th, Christmas Eve, not on Christmas Day.

We are able to offer 2 sessions, with limited capacity at each session.

  • Session 1: 10.15-12.45pm 
  • Session 2: 1.30-4pm

Each session will feature our traditional Christmas day fare, including a main meal with all the usual Christmas goodies. There will be plenty of entertainment on the day, including face painting, kids activities, a Christmas photo booth, a nativity play and of course a visit from our very own Christmas angel with gifts for all.

The meals are free but bookings are essential. Apply early as we have limited capacity due to COVID restrictions. Preference will be given to local residents of Knox and the Dandenong Ranges.

Unfortunately this year, due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to offer transport for any guests.

To apply to come to one of our sessions, please fill in this online guest form here.

If you are interested in applying to volunteer with us, please fill in this online volunteer inquiry form here.

Please note, we receive many more applications to volunteer than vacancies we have. We will endeavour to get back to you shortly.

If you would like to donate to the meal or any of our Christmas activities, supporting our local community please go to our donations page here. Or contact us at to discuss any other questions.

Visit our facebook page for updates

Partner with us this Christmas by donating to our Christmas Day Lunch

Help to provide a Christmas meal and community for 100's of people who would normally be spending Christmas alone.

Donate Now

Domestic Violence Support Group

Offering support to women and children who are experiencing/escaping violence or post-separation abuse.

COVID Response Online Support Group

During the current COVID restrictions, we are able to offer a weekly online support group and practical support for women and children in the Dandenong Ranges and surrounding areas of outer eastern Melbourne.

Please Note: To join our COVID Response Online Support Group, please get in touch by filling our online form

The Dandenong Ranges Domestic Violence Peer Support Group is facilitated peer-to-peer support group meets regularly, where women can share and make sense of their experiences, connect with and support each other, as well as receive ongoing parenting support.

This social group, which commenced in 2017, intentionally reconnects women often isolated by the impacts of domestic violence (DV) with each other and their local community. In this group we offer practical support such as pre-cooked meals and fresh food, whilst empowering them to develop secure attachments with their children, which provides an important buffer against intergenerational cycles of domestic violence. Crucially, this service is free of charge for women and their children and held in a supporting and safe environment.

The Yarra Ranges has the second highest rate of DV in Melbourne's eastern metropolitan region yet no DV-specific services exist locally. Women and their children require ongoing support far beyond the scope of crisis organisations. Complex trauma has long-term impacts on emotional and physical health, impeding the ability of women and their children to connect and flourish.

For more information or to register your interest, contact us via email at


Boarding House Outreach

Providing food and support to those living in boarding houses around Ferntree Gully.


Since 2018, Foothills Community Care along with other Ferntree Gully friends, have been providing weekly outreach and support to the many boarding houses around Ferntree Gully. Visits include providing fresh fruit and vegetables as well as practical support and a listening ear to local residents.

If you are interested in knowing more about our boarding house outreach, send us an email by clicking on the link below. 

Email us to Learn More

Knox Citizenship Suppers

Help us welcome new Australian citizens with a delicious supper for them and their guests after the ceremony.

Since 2003, Foothills Community Care has partnered with Knox City Council for their citizenship ceremonies. We help welcome our new citizens during their celebration night by providing a delicious supper for them and their guests after their citizenship ceremony.

If you are interested in volunteering with us on these nights please go to our volunteers section.

Not currently running due to COVID 19 restrictions

Email us to Learn More

Hospitality Training

Providing food skills based training to all who want the opportunity.

Image Image Image

Hospitality Training

Foothills partners with a number of different organizations to deliver a range of training designed to help people become more job ready.

Introduction to Food Preparation & Kitchen Skills Training
Come and learn some basic kitchen skills, how to use kitchen equipment, food preparation, and hygiene. At the same time, you will cook your own lunch and eat it with your group.

Introduction to Personal Presentation Skills Training
Come and learn some basic personal presentation skills that will help you as you prepare for a job such as, helping to put together a resume, job interview tips etc to your blurb, how to present etc.

Introduction to Front of House & Customer Service
Come and learn some basic front of house and customer service skills that will help you understand more about the hospitality industry. You will then get to practise these skills at the Upwey Community Meal night, under supervision.

Click here to register your interest

Barista Basics - 3 hour course

Come and learn the basics of working as a barista. Learn how to operate a coffee machine, how to froth silky milk, how to adjust the grind and make a great cup of coffee and more. A great hands on experience in a small setting.


Click here to inquire now