A LOCAL woman who identified the need for a community kitchen in Young is only weeks away from seeing her vision of assisting the lonely and less fortunate come together.
The idea originated after Kate Zuzek learned of community kitchens operating in Temora and Cootamundra, something she felt would assist struggling families in her own town.
So she started asking questions, volunteering in the Cootamundra kitchen and looking into options.
“I’ve been concerned about vulnerable people in [Young],” she said.
“I just knew there were a lot of struggling families and families in crisis financially, and I knew already that Young has a lower income rate than a lot of places in the region.”
Kate’s next step was to speak with Young Presbyterian Church reverend Tim Ravenhall, suggesting it’s something the group should look into.
Young Shire Council’s Sally Atkinson also offered support and guidance, as well as Young Shire Council’s environmental director Craig Filmer who assisted with grants.
“Sally thought it was a great idea, she said there was lots of money available through grants to get us going,” Kate said.
“Everyone has been very supportive - we got it cleared through our head office in Sydney, and Sally checked out our kitchen hall and said to go for it.”
In its typical ‘help those in need’ style, the community has rallied behind the initiative by donating kitchen utensils, cleaning products, food and money - something the committee described as a fantastic effort.
“It’s gaining momentum, so we should be all organised and ready to open by February 11 for our first meal,” Kate said.
The community kitchen is aiming to cater for approximately 60 people on the night, ranging from the less fortunate to the lonely or elderly who are in need of connection.
The kitchen will offer meals once fortnightly during the school term. This will occur on Thursdays at the Presbyterian Church Hall, opposite the library. Dinner served between 5.30pm-7pm. Desert, tea and coffee will also be available.
Businesses and individuals are encouraged to get behind the initiative either by sponsoring meals, donating goods, volunteering a team or by donating funds to St Paul’s Presbyterian General Account: St George, BSB: 112879: Account: 117818404.
“Eventually we’d love to be weekly, but until we can get weekly teams, funding, etc it’ll be fortnightly due to volunteer availability,” Kate said.
“It’s just getting harder and harder to make ends meet, so for those who are really struggling we’re just trying to fill a bit of a gap for them.
“Any donation large or small is greatly appreciated.”