Milestone for meals initiative during COVID-19

Kitchens Apr FB2

More than 100,000 meals have been prepared in the Victorian Parliament’s kitchens for vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 emergency.

“We want to acknowledge this significant milestone and thank the wonderful community-minded organisations that are working with us on this initiative,” Legislative Council President Shaun Leane said.

“We’re glad that a public asset is being used for the good of the community in partnership with organisations that each and every day are working for the benefit of people in need,” Mr Leane said.

The partner organisations for this meals program are The Salvation Army, The Lazarus Centre, St Peter’s Eastern Hill Anglican Church, Heaven At The Hill social enterprise, the Father Bob Maguire Foundation, Melbourne City Mission, St Vincent de Paul Society and St Mary’s House of Welcome.

Parliament’s 2019-20 appropriation is being used to support the program with $283,000 spent in the month of April 2020. As some of Parliament’s planned activities could not be undertaken due to COVID-19, some of the funds have been directed to this meals program.

“We’ve drawn on the parliamentary budget to make this initiative happen. We’re glad that savings in the Parliament’s budget are allowing us to assist vulnerable community members during this difficult time,” Legislative Assembly Speaker Colin Brooks said.

“Using these funds to deliver this program has kept our parliamentary catering staff in jobs and provided work for agency staff who have been regulars with us,” Mr Brooks said.

Inspired by the Victorian example, other Australian parliaments have initiated similar meals programs for vulnerable members of their communities.

“This is a positive example of people working together to support each other through this emergency,” Mr Leane said.

“During National Volunteer Week we want to particularly thank the many volunteers who are helping our partner charities distribute the meals prepared at Parliament House. These volunteers are a daily source of inspiration for all of us,” Mr Brooks added.


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