This study quantified the food skills of people with a mental illness living in hospital-based care and the community using the Functional Needs Assessment - Nutritional Management Program (Dombrowski 1990). There were clear and marked food skills deficits among people living in hospital-based care. There were no significant differences between the food skills of male and female participants. The deficits that were identified may place patients at nutritional risk if they are moved into community accommodation without appropriate support mechanisms for the provision of food. Recommendations are made for intervention through the implementation of food skills training and incidental learning.