OzHarvest has partnered with Lendlease to expand our Nourish program to Newcastle. Nourish provides opportunities for at-risk youth (aged 16–25) by mentoring and training students in a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations. The program offers more than just hospitality skills as it creates hope, opportunity and employment pathways for self-sustainability. With Lendlease’s support, we are looking to introduce this program to young people in need in Newcastle from 2021 (where youth unemployment has been increasing), as well as continuing the Sydney and Adelaide programs over the next three years.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our Nourish Program has been wide-reaching. To continue supporting the current student intake, a range of online resources has been created allowing them to engage with the program and the OzHarvest team throughout this challenging time. These resources and engagement strategies are designed with the core outcomes of Nourish in mind.
OzHarvest recognises the many challenges these young people typically face in their lives, with new levels of uncertainty and lack of access to the correct tools for online learning. The Nourish team are focusing on keeping students engaged by providing them with accessible information and guidance around taking care of themselves, along with the educational resources that Nourish training provides.
A recent Nourish online class focused on healthy eating on a budget, which has been a challenge for many students and something they all wanted to learn more about.
The Nourish team create a fun cooking challenge twice a week, providing several recipes and videos for inspiration and encourage them to create their own version at home, then share a picture or a video.
Sydney Nourish student, Alex, mentioned at the beginning of class that he had not been eating well and didn’t have much money for food that week, although he did have some eggs. This was his lucky week as we had a frittata challenge in mind! Alex said, “I made the frittata recipe over the weekend – it was really good! I added onion, garlic, peas and a little potato plus the frozen veg, just like the recipe!”
All the Nourish students have embraced this new learning environment and shared their home-cooking in pictures.
Since joining the OzHarvest family, Lendlease have supported our work in numerous different ways:
- Donating to OzHarvest through their social impact café in Barangaroo
- Providing funding for their social impact café to supply cooked meals to OzHarvest throughout April and May
- Running of the Mental Health First Aid course for Sydney OzHarvest staff and volunteers, and participation in the course by OzHarvest staff around the country
- Participation by OzHarvest staff in the Lendlease Not-for-Profit Education seminars
- And hosting our very first Juice for Good machine in Darling Harbour!
The new Nourish program in Newcastle will aim to start next year and is an exciting new step for the OzHarvest and Lendlease partnership.