Community partnership serves up meals for those in need
Local charities have teamed up with Noosa Council to provide meals for locals doing it tough.
Jane Spies, Manager of the Hub Food Outlet and Council delivery driver Mark Allen.
The partnership with Oz Harvest Sunshine Coast and Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS) has already served up more than 4000 meals.
The initiative builds on the service local chef Shane Bailey started when, during the COVID-19 restaurant closures, he cooked up more than 2000 meals to help Noosa locals in need.
The IFYS Urban Angels Community Kitchen in Nambour has taken over the cooking, using food supplied by Oz Harvest Sunshine Coast.
Council staff collect the meals and drop them off to Noosa charities for distribution to those in need.
Jane Spies, Manager of the Hub Food Outlet & Opp Shop at Noosa Church, said the meals were well received by people experiencing anxiety and financial stress since COVID-19 hit.
“To have a free, pre-cooked meal given to them is like they are receiving an unexpected present. Customers are so appreciative and overwhelmed by the generosity of the volunteers who make the meals, it gives them a sense of community,” she said.
Salvation Army Noosa and Coolum Community Engagement Worker Barbara Fennan said it was a similar story among the locals they assist.
“One homeless community member recently told me that he loves receiving the meals – they taste great, they are nutritious meals he usually wouldn’t be able to have and he heats them up on a BBQ plate. He is very thankful.”
In addition to meal deliveries, Council has chipped in funding to support the partnership.
“This is a fantastic example of many hands working together to help those in need,” Mayor Clare Stewart said.
The Urban Angels volunteers have already cooked up almost 4000 meals for Noosa residents, in addition to those Shane Bailey cooked up while restaurants were closed.
“Each of those meals was so gratefully received that it was clear a similar service was needed all year round to help residents struggling to put food on the table,” the Mayor said.
“Council is pleased to have helped facilitate and support this new partnership, which would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteers who are providing the ingredients, cooking the meals and making sure they get to those in need.”
Urban Angels Chef Lapo Trentanove.
Urban Angels chef Lapo Trentanove, who joined Urban Angels after losing his hospitality job during COVID-19, said he was pleased to be able to help those in hardship.
He now works full-time at the kitchen and volunteers extra hours when needed.
"I am very grateful. This is the best job I have ever had in hospitality. It is an amazing sensation to be able to help people who really need it," he said.
Council Community Development Officer Kylie Finigan, who is helping coordinate the project, said volunteers were looking for additional help to pack the meals.
“Birgit Sowden at Urban Angels would be pleased to hear from anyone who can assist,” she said.
Call 0418 783 928 or get in touch via email to help.