The lunch making with the Tafe students was a great success.
We made approximately 220 sandwiches which were delivered to 8 schools by Rotarians, the students and teachers making the sandwiches where wearing specially made aprons(supplied by tafe) for the task with logos stenciled on the front of the participating organisation eg: SWT, Rotary, Sea Change & Woolworths
A survey of local schools confirmed the need for such a program and that help would be appreciated. Ten schools have agreed to be involved at this stage.
It is expected 500 lunches will be required each month. Community partnerships are being sought to supply ingredients to reduce the cost of preparing sandwiches.
The Rotary Club of Portland has already made and distributed the first batch of 120 sandwiches to five schools within the shire.
Rotary president Tony South said the program was a good fit for the club.
“It fits perfectly with our community service and health ideals,” Mr South said.
South West TAFE Portland Campus leader and business development officer Trudy Thorp said the project would have far-reaching benefits.
“Our students will feel like they’re giving back to the community,” Ms Thorp said. “It will make them aware of some of the issues that are happening and the community-minded activities that help those in need,” Ms Thorp said.
“It’s a great opportunity for students as they will learn about healthy eating and safe food handling and preparation which could help them get jobs in the future,” she said.
About 15 VCAL students from TAFE will be involved in monthly preparation of the sandwiches which will be delivered to schools by Rotary members.
“We will work with the dietitian to make sure the sandwiches are healthy and nutritious and also able to be frozen,” Ms Thorp said.
Woolworths Portland have now joined the program with contribution of some food items.
A new program will provide healthy lunches to disadvantaged Glenelg Shire students while giving VCAL students an opportunity to learn new skills.
The Rotary Club of Portland has received $5000 seed funding for the project following the dispersal of funds from the former Loaves and Fishes foodbank operation.
South West TAFE Portland VCAL students will help Rotarians in a community partnership to prepare the lunches from the soccer club kitchen in consultation with a Portland District Health dietitian through the Sea Change program.
The program “Rotary Lunches” started on February 3, 2016 and was officially launched on March 1 and will distribute lunches to participating schools.
Rotary club member Terry Hallett came up with the idea after being inspired by a radio interview about supplying lunches to disadvantaged children.
“I was intrigued by the impact a simple thing like a sandwich was reported to be making to the kids and wondered if there was a need in our own community,” he said.
“The benefits from the students having nutritional food at school are well documented and a small investment now will pay dividends in years to come for the individuals and the community.”