Wodonga TAFE students benefit from new ‘Food Without Barriers’ initiative
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Wodonga TAFE’s VCAL and Work Education students are back in the hospitality business for 2019 in the newly-funded social initiative, ‘Food Without Barriers’ with Uniting Care Wodonga. Commencing in mid-February, weekly pop-up restaurants involve a rotation of over 40 students working under the guidance of an experienced chef to prepare and serve nutritious meals to customers.
The pop-up restaurants alternate between Mirambeena Community Centre in Lavington and St David’s Uniting Church Hall in central Albury, with the next seating to be held at midday on Wednesday 13 March 2019, at St David’s Uniting Church Hall, cnr Olive and Wilson Streets, Albury.
Each week a small group of students prepare food, set up the restaurant, and take turns to work back of house and front of house duties under the direction of the volunteer chef. Wodonga TAFE’s VCAL teacher, Ms Sharon Nevinson, said the ‘Food Without Barriers’ program gives the students practical and transferable skills in hospitality and customer service along with the opportunity to interact with a wide range of community participants.
“The initiative also extends to a Friday program involving students in Wodonga TAFE’s ‘Work Skills for Life’ course who have permanent cognitive impairment or intellectual disabilities”, said Sharon. “Students in this program work with Wodonga TAFE teacher, Ms Jennie Gibson, learning to prepare and cook meals that are then packaged, labelled and frozen to support emergency relief programs.”
Students in both programs end their sessions by sitting down to a shared meal, sampling their results of their hard work whilst sharing further discussion and learning from the day.