Enthusiastic cooks gathered around a kitchen bench at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE on Thursday.
The group was busy preparing a meal with help from OzHarvest as part of the organisation’s nutrition education sustenance training program.
It was the first time OzHarvest has held the program in a regional town and was able to do so thanks to its partnership with Shepparton Foodshare.
Those who took part in the free program included representatives from emergency relief agencies, school breakfast programs, canteen assistants, community meal programs and interested community members.
Many of the participants were from the Notre Dame College’s McAuley Champagnat Programme’s cooking program Food for Life and the Shalom Worship Centre.
During the session they used rescued food from OzHarvest and Shepparton Foodshare to make a bread and butter pudding, tomato and bread soup, meatballs with spaghetti and a garden salad.
‘‘We’re learning about how to eat healthy but on a budget,’’ OzHarvest NEST co-ordinator Elisha West said.
‘‘The theme’s all about how to use leftover bread because it’s the number one food that gets wasted.’’
After participants finished making the meal they got to sit down and eat together.
Shepparton Foodshare operations co-ordinator Bec Nicoll said it was wonderful they could offer this program as people would normally have to travel to Melbourne to take part.
‘‘This is also a great opportunity for participants to network and share ideas,’’ she said.
‘‘While Shepparton Foodshare’s core business is about the rescue and distribution of food to those in necessitous circumstances via our registered agencies, it is also our mission to increase awareness of the benefits of a nutritious food supply and reducing food waste.
‘‘Programs such as the NEST program supports our mission and provides local people with the tools to nurture themselves through healthier eating choices and food preparation, and to pass this knowledge on to others.’’
Another NEST program may be held in the new year and anyone wishing to register their interest for future NEST programs offered locally can email [email protected] share.org.au or phone 0432517329.
To find out more about OzHarvest go to www.ozharvest.org