“Community initiatives can help to overcome social isolation, give people a sense of worth and control of their own health and welfare, as well as improving food access and promoting healthier eating.” - (McGlone et al, 1999)

Basically, a socially connected community is a healthier community.

What is Social Spoons?

Social Spoons is a café meals project run by Star Health in Melbourne, Australia, which aims to improve social connectedness across the community.

Research shows that a socially connected community is a healthier community - so everyone benefits!

Social Spoons members can access subsidised café meals at supportive and welcoming cafés in City of Port Phillip and City of Stonnington.

Members of Social Spoons are people living within the inner south of Melbourne who are hoping to increase their involvement in general community life.

Through the co-payment and meal subsidy and help of a key worker, members have an incentive to dine with others, and can be linked into existing programs and health services to promote better health and greater social connections amongst our broader community.

Meal subsidies are kindly funded by the City of Port Phillip and City of Stonnington.


Social Spoons partner cafés are businesses with a healthy social conscience, interested in contributing towards positive change in their neighbourhood.

Gold Social Spoons cafés

Gold Social Spoons cafés provide Social Spoons members with a café stamp card, similar to a coffee loyalty card, to access subsidised café meals at supportive and welcoming cafés in City of Port Phillip and City of Stonnington. These two councils currently and kindly fund the meal subsides.

Gold Social Spoons cafés meet the following criteria:

  • » A welcoming environment
  • » Communal seating
  • » Public transport access
  • » Multiple food options for $15 or less
  • » Foods on display or pictures of foods
  • » Healthy options on the menu
  • » Friendly, welcoming & interactive staff
  • » And where possible, wheelchair access

Our Gold Social Spoons cafés were selected, invited and agreed to participate in Social Spoons program. We welcome more cafés to the program so please contact us for further information.

Silver Social Spoons cafés

The Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation has funded this project to identify, badge and market Silver Social Spoons cafés to improve accessibility for socially isolated people.

Silver Social Spoons cafés must meet the following criteria:

  • » Providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere
  • » Being community minded
  • » Providing healthy food options

Look out for the silver Social Spoons logo in café windows across Port Phillip and Stonnington.

'Welcome' community guide

Welcome is Star Health's Social Spoons community directory, celebrating welcoming cafes and organisations contributing towards positive social change in the Cities of Port Phillip and Stonnington.

How you can help

If you're an individual or organisation who'd like to support Social Spoons, start by supporting cafés who display the Social Spoons logo on their shop fronts. Follow us on the web and help spread the word on your own social channels.

And don't forget - just saying "hi" can make a big difference in your community.

Who are our cafés?

Social Spoons currently has six partner cafés around the Inner South Melbourne area.

South Melbourne
St Kilda

Café Benefits

»  Contribution towards a healthier and more connected community

»  Social interaction with a variety of clientele

»  Promotion of café via Social Spoons shopfront branding and via print and social media

»  Acknowledgement of generous community spirit and promotion as a socially conscious business

»  There are no out-of-pocket costs for cafes


Social Spoons requires community ownership to remain sustainable. Our program is part of a broader social café meals network across the state, and has been extensively researched, and evaluated by Monash University with a thesis published in 2012.

Our sustainability will ultimately rely on community and business support to help support individuals to access socially minded cafes to help improve social connections across the community.

Star Health is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission. All donations over $2.00 are tax deductable. Contact us at socialspoons@starhealth.org.au


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