Deputy Premier John Barilaro to learn about the businesses and volunteers that support Taree Community Kitchen

Taree Community Kitchen volunteers work to prepare, cook and serve delicious meals to vulnerable people in the Manning Valley.
Taree Community Kitchen volunteers work to prepare, cook and serve delicious meals to vulnerable people in the Manning Valley.

The kindness of a few is feeding many vulnerable families and homeless in the Manning Valley.

Today in Taree (November 10) the Deputy Premier of NSW, John Barilaro, will join with CatholicCare staff and volunteers to celebrate Taree Community Kitchen volunteers serving the 10,000th meal since CatholicCare took over the operation in 2015.

It is a milestone moment and provides a momentary opportunity to cast the media spotlight on the people and businesses in our community who ensure vulnerable people have access to healthy, homecooked lunches free-of-charge five days per week.

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Gary Christensen, director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning says the kitchen regularly serves around 30 people each day, but sometimes it can be as many as 50 and it is made possible by food donations from local businesses.

Trays of bread, boxes of fresh produce, meat, drinks … it is generous in quantity and quality and it comes from 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, Car Park Deli, Mentges Master Meats, Manning Valley Pie Company, Centerpoint Fresh Chickens & Game Meats, Gourmet Meats & Chicken, Cundletown, Old Bar Beach Quality Meats and Solomon’s Fruit & Vegetables.

Mr Christensen believes it is important that Mr Barilaro and member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead witness the work that volunteers do as well as the generous spirit of the Manning business community to help address the plight of the vulnerable in our region.

Gary Christensen, director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning with volunteer Shaun Higgins.

Gary Christensen, director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning with volunteer Shaun Higgins.

“It is support such as this that we hope will enable CatholicCare to expand on the lunch service offered during the week.

The attendance of the deputy premier will 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.

Gary Christensen

“To do this we need additional volunteers and food donations, as well as financial contributions so we can purchase much-needed equipment such as a commercial grade fridge.”

To learn more about Taree Community Kitchen, to become a volunteer, or to offer financial support contact CatholicCare Social Service Hunter-Manning on 02 4979 1120.