Superheroes don’t always wear capes, sometimes they wear aprons like the staff and participants at the Park Road centre in Nowra who have been providing over 100 meals a week to homeless people in their community.
Our Greenacres superheroes pick-up donated food from their local supermarket decide what meals to make based on what they have been given, put their aprons on and start cooking.
The home-cooked meals are then picked up and distributed by Dignity a charity providing essential services for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Park Road Team Leader, Kia Slaughter, said not only are the participants learning important life skills, they feel immensely proud that they are using food destined for landfill to create healthy and comforting meals for people in need.
The food we use is still fresh but cannot be sold by the supermarket for some reason, for example if one egg is broken in a carton, the whole carton must be thrown away even though the other 11 eggs are fine, Kia said.
We make a lot of meals that consist of protein like corned beef, chicken or roast lamb and vegetables and we make a lot of curries and pasta dishes.
Often we have to get creative with unusual ingredients that we have been given like the other day we made meals using spatchcock.
The Park Road participants have also been joined by participants from the Rayleigh Drive Centre for combined cooking days.
According to Kia, all the participants enjoy working together as a team and love seeing the results of their labour all stacked up ready for delivery.
It is a really great feeling knowing you are making a difference in the life of someone else, Kia said.
It has been amazing to see not only the improvement in the participants’ practical skills but also in their confidence, sense of purpose and self-esteem.