Deputy Premier attends Taree Community Kitchen celebrations

The Deputy Premier of NSW, John Barilaro, and Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead, joined with CatholicCare staff and volunteers to celebrate the Taree Community Kitchen volunteers serving the 10,000th meal since CatholicCare took over the operation in 2015.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Manning business community which has backed the Taree Community Kitchen and its volunteers to ensure vulnerable people have access to healthy, home-cooked lunches free-of-charge five days a week,” Gary Christensen, Director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning, said.

“We regularly serve around 30 people each day, but sometimes it can be as many as 50.

“The food donations from businesses such as Coles – SecondBite Community Connect Program, Woolworths, Mayo Private Hospital, MidCoast Council, Taree West Plaza Butchery, Lambert’s Butchery, Eddie's Fresh Chicken, Bakers Delight, McGrath Butchers, Mentges Master Meats, Manning Valley Pie Company, Centrepoint Fresh Chickens & Game Meats and Solomon’s Fruit & Vegetables make all the difference. 

“The volunteers are amazing − each day they collect food donations from businesses across the region and, with little lead time, turn these donations into delicious and nutritious meals.

“We consider it important that NSW Government Ministers witness for themselves both the work that volunteers do as well as the generous spirit of the Manning business community to address the plight of the vulnerable in our region.

“The attendance of the Deputy Premier has helped to raise awareness of the support that the Taree Community Kitchen needs – in the form of food donations and finance - to ensure the operation remains sustainable and hopefully expands.

“For this reason we have to say a huge thank you to the Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead MP, for securing the Deputy Premier’s attendance at the morning tea to celebrate this special milestone.

“Stephen has been a fantastic supporter of the Kitchen since CatholicCare first opened the doors and we’re grateful to him for securing the Deputy Premier’s attendance at this event,” Gary Christensen said.

During the course of the morning tea the Member for Myall Lakes and Deputy Premier announced, to much applause, that the NSW Government would contribute a desperately $3,000 so that CatholicCare could purchase an industrial fridge.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that the NSW Government has been able to provide the funds for CatholicCare to purchase an industrial fridge for the Kitchen. This donation will better enable us to store food donations and serve delicious, fresh meals to our patrons,” Gary Christensen said.

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Lizzie Watkin Image
Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.