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Narrandera Community Kitchen

Narrandera is situated in the Riverina district in Southern NSW on the Murrumbidgee River. Like many rural NSW communities, Narrandera has experienced negative social and economic impacts as a result of its remote location. Ashley's idea was to provide a Community Kitchen that was a safe, fun meeting place for young people to socialise, enjoy a meal, learn about healthy eating and have some exposure to positive role models.

The community has a higher than average number of young, single parent families and parts of the community have been affected by the extremes of flood and drought. Nutrition, in young people particularly, has suffered as a result.

Shortly after being awarded a Community Futures Grant at the 2012 Sydney Royal Easter Show, Ashley's project received a boost from Bunnings Warehouse who donated the demonstration kitchen from the Show. The donated kitchen freed up the RAS Foundation grant to be used to upgrade the hall, including the roof, internal walls, floor and lighting.

Completed in November 2013, the Community Kitchen is already benefitting the Church's youth group activities and the wider community. The project has implemented the following initiatives:

  • A food education program for young people, including nutrition advice and teaching cooking skills.
  • A weekly soup kitchen.
  • Cooking classes for young pople run by the Council's Healthy Communities Officer.
  • A venue with self-catering facilities for local groups to host events e.g. monthly senior residents' movie nights and a men's breakfast group.

The project received tremendous support from the local community with many donating their time, skills and services to ensure the kitchen was delivered on time and on budget.