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Skipping meals or living off two-minute noodles and a coffee each day are ways Australians are making ends meet during the current cost-of-living crisis.

More people are choosing to go hungry to be able to pay rent, electricity bills, or health care costs.

It’s a concerning trend that highlights the rise of food insecurity across Australia, with those on a lower income particularly bearing the brunt.

In response to the community’s growing need for solutions to cut down on grocery bills, AnglicareSA’s Financial Wellbeing team has been trialling a new, free meal planning program called Affordable Kitchen.

Hosted at Midway Road Community House, the weekly two-hour sessions are running throughout June, teaching families different nutritious meals they can cook without breaking the bank.

Participants learn cost-saving tricks like bulking up meat dishes with legumes, using frozen instead of fresh vegetables, and maximising the use of pantry and fridge ingredients.

AnglicareSA community engagement worker, Diane Johnson, said the program aimed to create a financial conversation through cooking.

“We encourage participants to discuss the cost of the recipe and how it could be altered to make bigger batches for larger families without buying more ingredients,” Diane said.

“Participants can ask questions and myself and other members of the Financial Wellbeing team can talk about the support available if they have fallen behind on payments or are experiencing other financial strain.”

Midway Road Community House Community Development Coordinator, Annette Cooper, said Affordable Kitchen was a welcome program at a time when people are experiencing hardship, particularly as the cold of winter sets in.

“Everyone is doing it tough at the moment and trying to find ways to reduce their budget, especially with the added cost of heating this winter,” Annette said.

“When you’re struggling financially, it can be isolating. This program gives people a place to go that is warm where they talk about their situation.

“It also provides an opportunity to find out what help they need and then to facilitate that support.”

Affordable Kitchen runs on Thursdays from 12:30pm to 2:30pm until 27 June at Midway Road Community House in Elizabeth East.

For more information or to register your attendance, please call 8255 4352.