The Morwell Neighbourhood House’s (MNH) People’s Kitchen initiative has been doing incredible work for the most vulnerable in our community by providing nutritious meals to those in need.
The Latrobe Health Assembly recently embarked on a joint research program with MNH to identify ways of expanding the service, its reach and, importantly, looking at ways of tackling food insecurity before the need even arises to seek the support of the People’s Kitchen.
This research identified a number of fresh opportunities and has resulted in the partnership of the Latrobe Health Assembly and the Morwell Neighbourhood House to begin rolling out a suite of new initiatives over the coming two years.
Led by Dr Helen Smith (RMIT University), the research explored ways of increasing access to food for our diverse community. It also seeks to provide training, and, for some, to equip participants with a recognised qualification at the end of the journey.
Latrobe Health Assembly Chair Ms Tanya Rong said “the People’s Kitchen is one of those initiatives that quietly goes about its business of supporting those in need. Our goal isn’t to change the community-focused nature of the People’s Kitchen, it’s to provide its clients with a ‘whole of person’ support package including education and support opportunities outside of MNH, while supporting the immediate food relief where required”.
“We are not simply boosting the funding of MNH’s People’s Kitchen, we are working with the incredible team to expand the level of support they offer,” added Ms Rong.
Morwell Neighbourhood House Coordinator Tracie Lund said “We are extremely grateful to the Latrobe Health Assembly for the opportunity to partner with them to scale up our People’s Kitchen program.”
“Programs like the People’s Kitchen work from the presumption that our community is resourceful and resilient. Partnering with the Latrobe Health Assembly allows us to activate our resources to expand our People’s Kitchen.”
Key project deliverables include:
- Involving relevant community agencies in the People’s Kitchen, Food Bank and community garden activities.
- Reaching out to communities in the Latrobe Valley who are marginalised in relation to access to resources and services.
- Framing the Food Bank and People’s Kitchen as key points of access for clients and volunteers to government, health, and community services.
- Offering access for People’s Kitchen participants to formal training, skills recognition, and vocational qualifications.
- Investigate ways to engage secondary schools in addressing relevant aspects of food security, and assess the feasibility for senior secondary students to participate in relevant aspects of the People’s Kitchen concept.