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A Warming Meal When It Is Needed Most

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

What a difference a full belly and a safe connection can have on a person’s health and wellbeing.

What a difference a full belly and a safe connection can have on a person’s health and wellbeing, but for some in our community this is a luxury.

Together with participants of the 2023 Goulburn Murray Community Leadership Program, St Paul’s African House and Culture Kitchen we launched a pilot program in July, the Winter Meal program. A grant from StreetSmart Australia also contributed to this pilot program assisting to cover some of the operational costs of the program.

The ‘Winter Meals’ program commenced last week in response to community need. It has been identified that there is a significant gap in the support available to our multicultural community who are facing uncertainty around food security. There are few meal service programs currently operating that provide culturally appropriate food in a safe space that is accessible to all in our community.

It is our aim that this program will support our multicultural community who have been impacted by the compounding effects of the cost-of-living crisis, the October 2022 floods in Greater Shepparton and the lack of suitable affordable housing, many finding themselves displaced or homeless.

The impact of the program is far more than filling hungry bellies with culturally appropriate and nutritious food. It provides social and community connection, the opportunity to learn more about and link in with local services and the meals are prepared by ‘Culture Kitchen’ a placed based initiative providing cooking skills, training and employment and connection to its participants.

Held at St Paul’s African House, this local venue for hire provides a welcoming and familiar place to gather for a meal and the necessary commercial kitchen facilities to cater for up to 100 people each week.

The response to date has been wonderful, with nutritious meals being served and lots of chatter and laughter as the program partners, Culture Kitchen participants and volunteers all work together to deliver this meals program.

The pilot program will run for four weeks and conclude on Tuesday 8th August. Upon conclusion the Winter Meals Program will be evaluated, and if required, support will be found to continue it. If you would like to find out more about accessing the meals or supporting the Winter Meals program, please email

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