Chef’s appetite for feeding the needy
LOSING his job as in a hospitality industry reeling from COVID-19 is now considered a blessing now by Lapo Trentanove whose career has been “reborn” at Urban Angels helping feeding thousands of hungry mouths.
Lapo now works full-time as a chef at Urban Angels’ Nambour community kitchen run by Integrated Family and Youth Service which has linked up with Oz Harvest Sunshine Coast, and Noosa Council who are dealing with the ground zero of the pandemic’s destructive family impacts.
“I am very grateful,” he said.
“This is the best job I have ever had in hospitality. It is an amazing sensation to be able to help people who really need it,” he said.
Noosa Council through IFYS and these charities have provided more than 4000 meals for locals doing it tough.
This initiative builds on the selfless efforts of noted Noosa chef Shane Bailey who enlisted industry support to prepare more than 2000 meals during the COVID-19 restaurant closures.
Now the community kitchen in Nambour has taken over the cooking, using food supplied by Oz Harvest Sunshine Coast with council staff collecting the meals and dropping them off to Noosa charities for distribution to those in need.
Noosa Church’s Hub Food Outlet and Opp Shop manager Jane Spies said these meals are making a real difference with people experiencing anxiety and financial stress since COVID-19 hit.
“To have a free, pre-cooked meal given to them is like they are receiving an unexpected present,” Ms Spies said.
“Customers are so appreciative and overwhelmed by the generosity of the volunteers who make the meals, it gives them a sense of community,” she said.
Salvation Army Noosa’s Barbara Fennan said it was a similar story among the locals they assist.
“One homeless community member recently told me that he loves receiving the meals – they taste great, they are nutritious meals he usually wouldn’t be able to have and he heats them up on a barbecue plate. He is very thankful.”
Council has also chipped in funding to support the partnership.
“This is a fantastic example of many hands working together to help those in need,” Mayor Clare Stewart said.
“Each of those meals was so gratefully received that it was clear a similar service was needed all year round to help residents struggling to put food on the table.
“Council is pleased to have helped facilitate and support this new partnership, which would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteers who are providing the ingredients, cooking the meals and making sure they get to those in need,” Cr Stewart said.
Council community development officer Kylie Finigan said volunteers were looking for additional help to pack the meals.
“Birgit Sowden at Urban Angels would be pleased to hear from anyone who can assist,” she said.
Call 0418 783 928 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to help.