CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning recently celebrated 20,000 meals being served by volunteers at their outreach service, the Taree Community Kitchen. Source: MNnews.Today.
Kitchen volunteers, donors and patrons joined CatholicCare staff and Federal Member for Lyne David Gillespie to mark the occasion.
CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning director Gary Christensen is particularly buoyed by the milestone.
“These celebrations have been three-and-a-half years in the making and are a testament to the selfless support of volunteers, and generous donations from local businesses that have partnered with CatholicCare to deliver this essential community service,” Mr Christensen said.
The celebration was turbo-charged when Dr Gillespie announced that CatholicCare was successful in its bid for funding, through the Commonwealth Government’s Volunteer Grants Program.
“I’m proud to support the Taree Community Kitchen through the Volunteer Grants Program. I was here when CatholicCare opened the Kitchen and now 20,000 meals have been served, which is no easy feat. I’d like to thank all the volunteers who turn up and cook and serve for free, as well as the kitchen sponsors and donors, who give their business or hard- earned cash to make this work for people who are vulnerable and need support,” Dr Gillespie said.
CatholicCare assumed operations of the Taree Community Kitchen in 2015 with a desire to assist individuals, couples and families experiencing adversity. The kitchen continues to grow in popularity, with volunteers now serving between 30-50 patrons each week day. The increasing demands on the service, while welcome, have placed a strain on existing resources.
Mr Christensen said that after consulting with kitchen volunteers, CatholicCare applied for $4,250 in funding through the grants program to sustain their operations.
“In line with recommendations from our volunteers, CatholicCare requested backing to purchase an industrial freezer, which will enable them to preserve donated produce, and new tables and chairs, for the comfort of patrons,” Mr Christensen said.
Taree Community Kitchen celebrates 20,000 meals served (MNnews.Today)