Australia’s premium food and baking brands have joined forces for #PlateForAMate 2022, a multi-channel campaign produced by Asia-Pacific’s leading entertainment, production and content agency, MGI Entertainment.

Products from brands including Green’s Baking, Australia’s best tasting dairy from Norco Co-operative, Delite Mandarins, Humpty Doo Barramundi, Three Threes Condiments, and Our Cow are brought to life by acclaimed chefs and Australian icons who love to cook in exquisitely produced short films with a powerful call to action.

Encouraging us all to ‘share a plate with a mate,’ the campaign reminds Australians of the power of shared meals to bolster mental health.

Viewers are also urged to donate to the Black Dog Institute. This year the focus is on supporting the mental health of our regional and rural communities, such as farmers, and people devastated by recent natural disasters.

Byron Keane, General Manager of Content at MGI Entertainment said: “‘It’s no secret that community is not what it used to be, the village is gone and many people find themselves alone in our globalised single order delivery society, yet right under the surface of the mental health pandemic is a vaccine tested and approved over millennia: sharing food together.”

The videos transport Australians into the private kitchens of legendary chefs and icons with a passion for cooking including Manu and Clarissa Feildel, Orazio D’Elia, Jason Roberts, Diana Chan, Sarah Todd, Tom Walton, presenter James Tobin, former AFL player and anti-racism advocate, Adam Goodes; singer-songwriter, Dami Im; and comedian, Dilruk Jayasinha.

Budding home cooks can learn to cook an exquisite collection of nourishing recipes specifically designed to be shared with loved ones, while hearing personal anecdotes, insights and memories about the chefs’ and icons’ lives and love of food.

“Mental illness is so prevalent so it’s imperative we have continued conversations about it. For me, the relationship between food and wellness is inseparable so I am very excited to be involved in this project,” said Manu Feildel.

Natural disasters are shining a light on the mental health crisis unfolding in regional Australia. While 20 per cent of Australians will experience a mental illness each year,[1] 68% of Australians living in rural and remote areas have experienced depression and anxiety during the past two years. This overrepresentation is exacerbated by 26 per cent of these patients having to wait four to six weeks to access support.[2]

“We are so pleased that #PlateForAMate is aligning with us and has prioritised delivering mental health training in regional and rural communities through the Black Dog Institute,” says Sarah Connor, Head of Service Engagement and Operations at the Black Dog Institute.

This new offering by the Black Dog Institute to provide mental health training in remote communities is in response to findings that there are currently 2.5 million Australians that could benefit from low-intensity mental health services.[3]

“At the Institute, we carry out research to learn how best to offer mental health support and translate that research into programs and services which can help so many people, wherever they are based in Australia. We know that preventative measures and catching signs early are key to help and that’s why we offer mental health training programs in locations where support may be limited,” says Ms Connor.

Now in its third year, #PlateForAMate is steadily cooking up a proven track record of giving back to the community. In 2021, it raised $160,000 to combat rising food insecurity as a result of COVID-19. It also generated 4 million media impressions for involved brands.

This article was published in Food & Beverage, you can find it here.