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Foundation to improve aged care cooking

Adelaide food identity, Maggie Beer, has officially launched a foundation to improve food in residential aged care facilities. The Maggie Beer Foundation (A Good Food Life for All) will work to identify the industry's best advocates, celebrate their achievements and use them as a benchmark for others to follow.
Adelaide food identity, Maggie Beer, with ACH Group aged care chef, Katie Otto.
Adelaide food identity, Maggie Beer, with ACH Group aged care chef, Katie Otto.

The foundation will start with a pilot program in three South Australian facilities – Abbeyfield Nursing Home at Williamstown, Mount Pleasant Aged Care Home and Ridgehaven Residential Care Centre.

According to Ms Beer, she has seen and heard much about the negative side of aged care; now she wants to hear good ideas and experiences that can be shared.

“There is so much to be done for those in aged care who are not lucky enough to be in a wonderful environment, where food — and the way it’s presented — is of huge importance,” Ms Beer states on her Foundation website.

“There are many providers and many cooks and chefs who do have a love of food and an understanding of how vital that joy of looking forward to a meal is, and there are others wanting to do more, but frustrated by the many complex issues which can overload management,” she adds.

South Australian care chef, Katie Otto, who is pictured with Ms Beer, was announced as winner of the Tasting Australia Every Dollar Counts cook off held in Adelaide yesterday.

As a chef at South Australian aged care provider, ACH Group, Ms Otto 'out-cooked' five other experienced chefs who work in the aged care sector to take the top prize.

“I enjoy being able to provide our residents with not only nutritious food, but also of restaurant variety and quality. I am proud of the food we produce and I would be happy to eat what we serve every day," Ms Otto says.

First mention of the Maggie Beer Foundation (A Good Food Life for All) was made at the start of the year when Ms Beer said she wanted to devote the rest of her life to the cause and intended to follow the lead established by her friend Stephanie Alexander, who has used a similar model to campaign for increased food education in schools.

Being chosen as Senior Australian of the Year in 2010 spearheaded Ms Beer’s interest in how well older Australians eat.

She was also named South Australian of the Year 2011 and, in addition to these achievements, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to tourism and hospitality on Australia Day the following year.

Her appearances on television have been numerous, with the most notable being her involvement with Channel 10’s Masterchef.

Find out more about the Maggie Beer Foundation (A Good Food Life for All).

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