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OzHarvest recruits students to provide meals

To celebrate NSW Youth Week (10th – 18th April), OzHarvest is hosting a special NEST workshop involving year 9 and 10 students from Callaghan College Wallsend campus, who will be charged with planning, preparing, cooking and serving a meal to 20 local refugees from the Maryland Neighbourhood.

The session will be held on Thursday, 11th April at Maryland Neighbourhood Centre from 9.30am and the menu items prepared by the students will be shared by all involved at a sit down lunch from midday.

The session is part of OzHarvest’s broader NEST initiative, a Greater Charitable Foundation funded program, that teaches young people as well as people in need skills and knowledge to nurture themselves through healthier eating choices and food preparation via a series of hands-on cooking and nutrition workshops.

Lea Browning, OzHarvest NEST Coordinator, said the program aims to increase community connectedness and this particular session is a great way to educate young people on basic cooking skills whilst broadening their social awareness.

“This is the second time we’ve run the intensive Youth Week NEST session, with the students involved always keen to prepare, cook and provide the meals to our guests. We see great comradery amongst the participants, with lots of laughter and enjoyment whilst at the same time a real sense of dedication to the tasks at hand,” said Ms Browning.

“Youth Week provides an opportunity for young people to share ideas and celebrate their contribution to community. We are proud to help facilitate this and at the same time help to make cooking a more accessible task for those students involved by improving food purchasing and preparation behaviours.”

Anne Long, Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, highlights the important role OzHarvest plays in the community and the benefits of NEST.

“OzHarvest provides valuable assistance through the provision of food to those in need, but what’s impressive to note is the time, effort and resources they place on educating and supporting young people in our community. The Youth Week NEST session is just one example of this,” Ms Long said.

“We fund the NEST program here in Newcastle and on the Gold Coast and we are proud that over the past two years, our support has helped OzHarvest deliver 21 programs to 585 participants in the Newcastle region. We also recruit Greater Bank employees as volunteers to help coordinate the sessions.

“At Greater Charitable Foundation we are all about giving back to the community that supports us and we are grateful to be able to work with charities, like OzHarvest, to help make a difference.”

Greater Bank Software Engineer, Charles Frank, will volunteer for the third time at Thursday’s Youth Week NEST session along with two OzHarvest representatives.

The NEST program currently operates in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and regional locations in QLD and NSW.

For more information on the program visit

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