Some of the kitchen’s major sponsors include Coles’ SecondBite Community Connect Program, Mayo Private Hospital, MidCoast Council, Taree West Plaza Butchery, Lambert’s Butchery, Eddie's Fresh Chicken, Bakers Delight, McGrath Butchers and Solomon’s Fruit & Vegetables.
CatholicCare was fortunate to receive a $30,000 donation from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to provide a much-needed revamp of the Kitchen.
Fittingly the Foundation Chairman, Michael Slater, played a key role in the official opening, sharing his thoughts and standing alongside Ms Smit to cut the ribbon to the entrance of the new and improved kitchen.
Mr Slater said the grant made the Taree Community Kitchen’s important community service sustainable in a community facing a higher than average unemployment rate and a range of social issues, particularly youth unemployment.
“Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s grant recognises the important service Taree Community Kitchen offers, in providing meals to people in a position of disadvantage and as a vital community link to ensure the vulnerable and isolated have access to appropriate services,” Mr Slater said.
Volunteers and donors are the backbone of the Taree Community Kitchen − without their support the Kitchen could not operate. Accordingly, when asked to speak about her experiences as a volunteer at the opening, Ruth Sumpner was eager to accept the invitation.
“I have found volunteering in the Kitchen to be an immensely enjoyable and fulfilling experience. When you are in the kitchen, it’s as though you are there with an extended family. As a volunteer you get so much more out of the experience than you ever give. It is truly heart-warming to see the smiles on people’s faces when you serve them; the human connection brings so much happiness,” Ms Sumpner said.
The Kitchen always welcomes additional support. To register your interest in becoming a volunteer or donor please P CatholicCare, (02) 6539 5900.