Foothills Community Care

Providing meals, hospitality and a place to belong in the Dandenong Ranges and foothills of outer eastern Melbourne.
Everyone is welcome at our table.

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

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Serving Over
42,000 Fresh Meals

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Delivering Over
15,000 Food Parcels

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Rescuing Over
30 Tonnes of Food

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Working With Over
250 Volunteers

Community Meal Nights

Meet new friends and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal in a safe and supportive environment. Everyone is welcome at our table.
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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.

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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.

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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.
156 Underwood Road, Ferntree Gully (next to the train station).

Doors open 4pm for a hot cuppa, chat and food parcels. Meals available for dine-in and takeaway from around 5pm till 6pm

Everyone is welcome at our table!

Orange Sky free laundry washing and drying service available 3.30pm -5.30pm

Since 2007 we have been providing Ferntree Gully locals with a meal and a place to hang out. We usually have around 70 people coming along and sharing a meal, a laugh, and a chat together, in a safe and positive atmosphere. Our doors open at 4.00pm, come in for a cuppa, a snack and chat. Our home-cooked main meals are served around 5.15pm followed by a delicious dessert.

Visit our facebook page for updates

Upwey Community Meal

Monday Nights

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

Doors open 4pm for a hot cuppa, chat and food parcels. Meals available for dine-in and takeaway from around 5pm till 6pm

Everyone is welcome at our table!

Since 2015, Upwey Community Meal Nights have been held in partnership with Upwey Baptist Community Church.  The community meal is held in the back hall of the church. We usually have around 70 people coming along and sharing a meal, a laugh, and a chat together, in a safe and positive atmosphere. Our doors open at 4.00pm, come in for a cuppa, a snack and chat. Our home-cooked main meals are served around 5.15pm followed by a delicious dessert.

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

We are able to offer short term 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 Casseroles?

Community Casseroles have been cooking as a community for the community since 2015. We run weekly 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 who needs them. Weekly we are delivering around 700 meals to our local community through our team of volunteer drivers.

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

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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? Love to connect? Want to get involved?

We are currently meeting weekly for our Community Cook-ups, held out of Upwey Baptist Church. In our kitchen, 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. The act of cooking and sharing meals is encouraging and nourishing for both the receiver of the meal and the cook.  We also welcome people to volunteer as delivery drivers to our community.

If you would like to find out more about joining us for cooking or driving, please complete our volunteer form.

Christmas Eve Lunch

Join us for our 22nd  annual Ferntree Gully Christmas Lunch with all the trimmings.

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Don’t spend Christmas alone this year!

Don’t spend Christmas alone this year!

Over the past 21 years, we have been hosting our Ferntree Gully Christmas Lunch for locals to come together and celebrate, especially for those who would normally spend Christmas alone.

We are pleased to announce that our 22nd annual Ferntree Gully Christmas Lunch will be happening on Sunday December 24th, Christmas Eve (not on Christmas Day), as we have done for the previous 3 years, so that each session is not too crowded and we can accommodate more people throughout the day

Our Christmas Lunch is now FULLY BOOKED if you'd like to be added to our waiting list, please click this link
We will be able to offer 2 sessions for people to choose from, and both will have limited capacity:

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.

Preference will be given to local residents of Knox and the Dandenong Ranges as we usually receive many more inquiries than we are able to take for the day

Please note, we are unable to offer transport for any guests.

Our Volunteer roles for Christmas Eve are now FULL, if you're interested in being on our waiting list please complete our online Christmas Lunch Volunteer enquiry form

We also receive many more applications to volunteer than vacancies we have and unfortunately cannot guarantee that an application will result in a volunteer opportunity, however, we will do our best to accommodate as many as we can.

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 contact@foothillscare.org.au 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

Mums' Connection Space

Offering support to mum's and children who need a space to connect

Our Community Casseroles - Mums’ Connection Space is a space for mums to come together: to find connection, to build community, and to share some of the daily load while being part of something bigger than each of us alone. 

We meet fortnightly on Fridays during the school term at Upwey Baptist Church, 9:30am to 1:30pm to cook together. There is no cost to attend and kids are welcome to our interactive children's program.

We cook together, share morning tea, drink amazing coffee and sit down to lunch together. This is a space of support and connection where mums can build a community together while making meals to support the broader local community as well as taking home some dinners for the family (or the neighbours, spreading around the mum-love). 

This is a space that makes room for mums who might otherwise be isolated. If you are a mum who has been limited in building your social network, maybe due to experiencing chronic illness, being a carer, experiencing family or domestic violence etc- we want to be a safe landing space for you. We know it can be especially difficult building those mum connections if you're already juggling other challenges. 

All mums welcome, you may have little ones or your kids may be grown, but we all have something to share with each other on this mum-journey.

For further information email us at mumscooking@foothillscare.org.au 

Or request to join our facebook page 

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Boarding House Outreach

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

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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

The Ferntree Gully Community Safety Outreach Project

The Ferntree Gully Community Safety Outreach Project is a ‘Knox Empowering Communities’ project, funded by the Victorian Government’s Empowering Communities Initiative as part of the Building Safer Communities Program.

This 16-month pilot project, which commenced in April 2023, is based around the Ferntree Gully village community and addresses issues of safety and social connection, especially for the most vulnerable within our community. The project centres around four key stakeholder groups, including local community groups, traders, law enforcement and vulnerable people in the area.

We have employed two outreach workers for this project especially to support locals in need of an extra hand-up. This happens through the building of relationships or respect and trust and where possible supporting them to address challenges they are facing.

This project builds on the work that Foothills has been doing, supporting locals around Ferntree Gully for over 20 years now. It will also work with our local community to co-design responses, activities, programs and events to build positive community outcomes for all.

Email us to Learn More
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