The Plug-in was pleased to help researchers at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University better understand how attending regular community lunch gatherings impacts quality of life for older people.

The Flinders University EAT (Everyone at the Table) research project examined the feasibility of how attending regular shared community lunches might impact an older person’s sense of social connectedness, isolation, wellbeing or loneliness.

We worked with Flinders University researchers to recruit and select a total of 15 participants to participant to take part in the project, which was carried out in two stages.

The participants — recruited from The Plug-in community of influencers — were aged 65 years or older, identified as at risk of loneliness or social isolation, and for the second stage of the project were willing and able to attend a weekly free shared lunch with others.

Stage 1
The first part of this study was conducted in July 2020. The Plug-in influencers participated in an online focus group to help researchers understand the feasibility of holding shared lunches on a larger scale and the social benefits such a program would offer.

Stage 2
The second part of this study commenced in mid-March 2021 and is currently underway for participants who were willing and able to meet weekly with peers to share a free meal. This part of the program project involves attending a series of shared lunches over 12 weeks, at a Noarlunga Downs café. The purpose of this stage of the research project is to further explore the feasibility of a large-scale social lunch program.

The second stage of the project also included

  • an online survey prior to commencement of the shared lunch program;
  • a one-on-one interview during the program to discuss individual experiences; and
  • a final online survey following completion of the 12 week program.

The Plug-in managed all aspects of recruitment and participation on behalf of researchers at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University and successfully recruited a diverse range of participants.

Participation in this project was voluntary. Personal information is not used or shared without express consent — read more about our privacy policy on our website.

For further information please contact The Plug-in on (08) 8224 5526 or email