Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Mums give volunteering a wonderful new flavour

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Mums give volunteering a wonderful new flavour

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'Hundreds of meals': mums take over school kitchen to give volunteering a new flavour

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A group of hardworking mothers from a Sunshine Coast school have joined forces to serve families in need.

About 30 parents and care-givers from Siena Catholic Primary School gathered for a ‘Soul Food’ cook-up, to coincide with National Volunteer Week (May 16 to 20 May).

The parents took over the college’s commercial kitchen for more than four hours, making an astounding array of meals, including 10 quiches, 15 curries, 25 bolognaises, 25 lasagnes and 300 biscuits and chocolate slices – and tripping the school’s power circuit in the process.

Once cooked, the meals and treats were batched and frozen and they will be shared with families during the year, providing a helping hand during unexpected hardships and illnesses and for celebrations such as the birth of a new baby.

Michelle Comerford was among the parents to take over the college’s commercial kitchen.


Principal Glen Bucklar said the cook-up was an enormous effort, with every meal being made and offered with love by the community, for the community.“With over 30 parent volunteers involved in this year’s cook-up, it is evident our community is better together,” Principal Bucklar said.“I really take my hat off to the mothers, who every year put other mothers and families in our community above themselves.“To do something kind for those going through a difficult time, whether it be illness or hardship, is a wonderful thing.”

Michelle Kay and Carmen Sorensen help families in need.

“Our teachers, staff, parents or community members are given the power to nominate a family who may benefit from a pre-cooked meal throughout the school year.  ““We’ve found the ‘Soul Food’ cook-up to be hugely successful, providing support to those in our community who need it, sometimes in their darkest hour.“The success of this program really exemplifies the importance of our school volunteers within our community and shines a light on the important work they do.“The cook-up also embodies our school values. I always tell our students (that) justice looks out, up and spreads around.

“In true National Volunteer Week style, I would like to thank all the Siena Catholic Primary School parents who were involved in this years ‘Soul Food’ cook-up. Your contributions truly help build our community as a force for good.”

Shannon Harth bakes some tasty treats.

Siena Catholic Primary School parent Bernadette Bain said she was anonymously nominated to receive a meal just after she gave birth to her fourth child – and hasn’t forgotten the kind gesture since.

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and this year’s theme is ‘Better Together’.


A group of mothers at the cook-up.

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