Anglicare Southern Queensland was successful in obtaining Queensland Government Dignity First funding to supply and operate a mobile kitchen/food van in the Brisbane and Logan areas from February 2019.
The food van is at the core of the $177,000 project, and will enable young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to gain an understanding of nutrition and learn the skills to prepare and cook healthy meals.
Anglicare Southern Queensland Executive Director Karen Crouch said the project will help young men and women develop important life skills and foster a sense of wellbeing from giving back to the community.
“The food they cook will be distributed to a range of community-based organisations, street vans and age respite centres,” Ms Crouch said.
“They will get work experience preparing food at events and corporate functions and, through our partnership with TAFE they’ll have access to training, education and employment opportunities.
“This is an exciting and innovative project that we think will make an impact in the lives of young people. It will help them develop important life skills, connect them into their local communities, develop their long-term resilience, and foster a sense of well-being from giving back to the community.”
The Dignity First Fund supports fresh ideas from non-government providers that aim to prevent and reduce homelessness and assist people experiencing homelessness to live with dignity.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Anglicare food van was one of 14 projects funded in the Brisbane region at a total of more than $738,000.
“Dignity First provides for people who really need it, when they really need it,” Mr de Brenni said.
“This investment will enable Anglicare Southern Queensland to purchase and fit out a kitchen/food van where young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can gain an understanding of nutrition and learn the skills to prepare and cook healthy meals.
“Whatever situation you’re in, you have the right to live with dignity, and the innovative ideas we’ve seen emerge through this funding round will make a huge difference to the lives of Queenslanders in need.”
Construction of the van, which will be named by young people, will be complete in late February after which the service will commence with a cook and youth worker, engaging young people from the Logan and Brisbane areas who are at risk of homelessness.
The service will collaborate with suppliers, training partners and organisations supporting young people in offering this responsive mobile service.
The mobile kitchen/food van service will provide young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness aged 16 to 25 with:
- an understanding of nutrition and skills to prepare and cook healthy meals
- assessment of young people’s literacy, numeracy and abilities through use of the Basic Key Skills Builder assessment tool
- connections to TAFE and training organisations to obtain hospitality, cooking or barista qualifications
- work experience at events and corporate bookings selling food and beverages
- skills in preparation of food for distribution to those experiencing homelessness by street van services
- intergenerational interaction when providing food to age care respite centres
- increased confidence and self-esteem from learning and working in a supportive positive environment