Cooking up ways to help the needy

SUPPORTERS of the Sisters of Charity Foundation have been treated to a delicious lunch and tour of the facilities at the Prosper community kitchen in Campsie.

“We’re thrilled to be able to show our donors, in person, what their generosity is helping to build,” Foundation CEO Reba Meagher said.

Sisters, staff and donors also had the opportunity to speak at length with community kitchen regulars who wholeheartedly value the services that Prosper provides.

Prosper (Project Australia) is a multi-award-winning small community organisation that aims to support disadvantaged children and their families. 

Its community kitchen program gives those experiencing poverty and homelessness access to a free kitchen facility, cooking equipment, storage containers and fresh ingredients to prepare healthy meals for their families. It also organises other services like clothing and necessities drives, kids’ playgroups and more.

Prosper’s Karen Craigie said the kitchen had been a marvellous platform for community-building and increasing the dignity of those who were isolated or disadvantaged.”

Mum-of-four Clare is a community kitchen regular. “Everyone said, ‘have kids, have them close together, it’ll be really good,’ but they never said how crazy it can get,” she said.

“Prosper provides you with toiletries, with nappies – they’re such a big expense as a parent. It’s so invaluable to me.”

Raumanu is stay-at-home mum to four girls who came to Australia from Fiji 20 years ago. She first heard about Prosper when she was trying to help a homeless man who lived in a park near her house.

“I try to take him food once a week; I thought I could get him to come here too,” she explains. “But when I came [to the community kitchen] I liked it. I don’t have many family members here so this gives me a sense of community.”

Aside from working in Prosper’s parenting programs, Dima helps run the community kitchen days. She came to Australia from Syria six years ago.

“I have a passion to help people because I’m trying to have them not go through what I did,” she says.