Bowl of Plenty – Senior Citizens Rooms Bellingen
October 25, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
An event every month that begins at 11:00 am on day Fourth of the month, repeating indefinitely
An event every month that begins at 11:00 am on day Second of the month, repeating indefinitely
Restaurant owner and chef Mitch Grady had been hearing a lot about homelessness and poverty in Bellingen Shire, and while Popla was in its quieter winter period, he decided to get an initiative underway to help.
“We are a local non-profit project wanting to minimise hunger and food waste through the redistribution of quality surplus food,” he wrote on Facebook. “We are asking all local businesses and individuals for support.”
He was delighted to get plenty of responses from people offering to volunteer their time and also to find a keen collaborator in the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre.
The BNC had just lost its annual $25,000 funding to provide food, fuel and crisis accommodation vouchers, so coordinator May Smith was quick to suggest teaming up on a meals project.
To be called the Bowl of Plenty, it will involve making two types of meals freely available to those who need them.
“We’ll have frozen meals that are available anytime, and also we’re going to open the Senior Citizens Room twice a month so people can come and sit down and share a hot lunch,” May said.
The hot meals will start on August 22 and will be run on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, from 11am to 2pm.
Meals will be professionally prepared by Mitch Grady from Popla and Monica Sala from Darkwood Diner, who has also put her hand up to be involved.
To kick things off, Mitch has stocked the BNC freezer with labelled, packaged servings of mixed vegetable ragout with polenta, using produce from the Cupboard of Plenty.
The initiative is still in its pilot stage but the idea is to source some ingredients from OzHarvest in Coffs and also to encourage local people and organisations with excess produce to bring it to the Neighbourhood Centre.
“Then we’ll take some of it to Popla or Darkwood Diner to be turned into meals,” May said.
In previous years, the BNC has distributed food vouchers to about 400 people annually, mostly to women aged 40–64.
To get involved in the Bowl of Plenty, contact BNC coordinator May Smith on 6655 1239 or email [email protected]
Article courtesy of Bellingen Courier Sun.