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Byron Shire
June 1, 2023

Curing isolation through a shared hearty meal

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Selase Dugbaza

A new local social enterprise is aiming to solve the problem of isolation and disconnection within neighbourhoods through home-cooked food.

From Saturday September 22, Table360 will conduct a virtual launch of its neighbourhood-based approach in Mullumbimby.

Founder and director Selase Dugbaza is inviting all lovers of community in Mullumbimby to take part in ‘the taste of village life’ trial by listing portions of freshly prepared home-cooked food, for sale through their website at www.table360.org

Selase says, ‘The idea of Table360 is that when you don’t feel like cooking, don’t have the time, or want something different, you’ll be able to search for “who’s cooking extra” in your neighbourhood.’

‘The process of accessing the meal creates a natural opportunity for connection. The vision is to bring the feeling of village life to neighbourhoods by providing people with a reason to have simple but frequent daily interactions with each other.’

According to Selase, through this level of interaction, social barriers will be broken down, neighbours will get to know each other, and neighbourhood bonds will be built.

He says all the evidence from other community-centred cultures where food trade exist at a local residential level is that social isolation and disconnection will decrease and fewer people will eat alone.

Selase says, ‘The food life is what we love about visiting places in South East Asia, like Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.’

‘The frequency with which we eat makes food a perfect vehicle for driving social connection. The over-regulation of urban life in western countries has killed off many opportunities for people to meet regularly and get to know each other.

‘I think it’s very important to bring back to neighbourhoods natural social activities that can resolve this isolation and disconnection. The process of getting and eating food on a daily basis is a definite part of the solution.’

Visit www.table360.org for more info.

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