Food service providers deliver far more than meals: making connections with clients, having a chat and developing social connections and relationships.

The 2017 survey of Western Sydney/Nepean Food Forum participants reflects a resoundingly positive and valuable experience, resulting in enhanced support, collaboration and improved service delivery. Convened by Western Sydney Community Forum, the Food Forum consists of Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Community Care Support Program (CCSP) funded Food Services, CHSP dietitians and other interested service providers from Western Sydney and Nepean regions.  

The Western Sydney/Nepean Food Forum shares and reviews information and opens collaborative opportunities for regional food service providers working in Sydney’s West and Nepean areas. In consultation with representatives from significant intersecting governmental and regulatory bodies, Food Forum members address changes relating to implementation and industry practices. Benefits of participation include updates on aged care and disability reforms and the opportunity to engage with each other, exchange insights and share experiences.

The 2017 Western Sydney/Nepean Food Forum survey indicated that 87% of participants found the Forum to be extremely or very useful, in enabling improved delivery of service and work practices. Survey respondents revealed that information mitigated by WSCF Forum conveners was relevant, up to date and readily accessible, and that peer-based discussion was key to working through industry changes.

The importance of volunteerism in local communities is widely supported by research and community feedback; ‘social capital’ benefits are well-documented and are clearly linked to an improved quality of life for individuals and communities. The 2017 Western Sydney/Nepean Food Forum survey lends endorsement to the Western Sydney Community Forum’s continuing role, facilitating development in support of service providers and the important work we do in our community.