Food has been bringing people together for generations, so can we use food to bring communities together and overcome disadvantage?

That’s the question behind The Benevolent Society’s Taste Tours, a range of tours that showcase one of south west Sydney’s biggest strengths – its array of authentic food from around the world – all while serving a social purpose.

Taste Tours are not your typical food tour – they are a social enterprise designed to strengthen community connections, bridge cultural divides, build community pride, break down negative stereotypes and develop local employment and training opportunities.

With walking tours, bus tours and progressive dinners to choose from, the tours offer a unique experience for corporate groups to step outside of the office, eat and team build for a good cause! And, as more and more organisations become CSR-focused and socially conscious, the tours are an ideal opportunity to put an ethical slant on your team-building.

Icon Clinical Research manager, Karoline Stahl, said taking her team on a Taste Food Tour was the perfect team-building event for them.

“Instead of sitting at a table next to colleagues they work with everyday, staff were walking and chatting with different colleagues, taking the opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their roles in the company. The fact that we were ticking business objectives as well as contributing to a worthy cause was a great feeling,” she said.

Each of the tours is a journey of discovery where guests are shown the best places to eat and shop for ingredients, told how food is used in different cultures and traditions, and of course served up a range of specialties for guests to taste in-store as well as samples to take home.

The tours are led by local guides who provide guests with some real inside knowledge of the food and culture of that area. Employing local guides gives local residents an opportunity to gain training and qualifications, and work locally.
Tours are currently running in Bankstown, Belmore, Bonnyrigg, Campsie, Earlwood, Fairfield, Guildford, Granville, Greenacre, Harris Park, Lakemba, Parramatta and Strathfield.

Group and corporate tours can be arranged for eight or more people, and can be tailored to suit your interest and budget.

The Benevolent Society is Australia’s oldest charity. The group helps people change their lives through support and education, and speak out for a just society where everyone thrives. As a not-for-profit and non-religious organisation the society has helped people, families and communities achieve positive change for 200 years.

For more information or to book a tour visit www.tastetours.org.au, telephone (02) 9707 0800, or email tastetours@benevolent.org.au

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