Canberra City Care provides Canberrans with low cost food, clothing, IT equipment and debt management through their headquarters in Charnwood. Now they can add a commercial kitchen to their list of facilities, with the official opening of the Canberra City Care Harvest Kitchen last week.
Funded by The Snow Foundation and Hands Across Canberra grants, the kitchen follows the completion of the Harvest Garden last year. The new kitchen will allow staff, community groups and individuals to use produce from the garden and supplies from the pantry to cook meals on site.
Canberra City Care Operations Manager, Danielle Bates, says the kitchen will use produce from the garden and pantry to make meals for people in the community.
“There are people in our community who need access to healthy meals, and possibly can’t afford to do it or don’t know how to cook them. We want to involve volunteers in that process, so we’ll probably have small groups in there … they’ll be working and teaching cooking skills and making it a social activity as well.
“It’s good to find things that people have an interest in, so that they can do something for their own good but also do something for the broader community by helping others.”
Food rescue organisation OzHarvest are preparing to utilise the kitchen for their community nutrition education programs, and CIT students will be able to practise cooking and develop their skills, as per their course requirements.
Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra, says the kitchen will provide a range of benefits to the community, including supporting social enterprise and cooking and nutrition training.
“This kitchen will be a place where people can gather; social inclusion is a really important thing.”
The kitchen was built and fitted out with donations and low cost labour and goods from a number of tradesmen and businesses.
Stavro Dascarolis, who managed the project, says the support from the building industry was “marvellous”.
“Time and materials were supplied either at cost or free and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”
Canberra City Care is part of Life Unlimited Church, and provides services for those in the West Belconnen region who are experiencing financial hardship. For more information, visit canberracitycare.org