‘SecondBite in Schools’ is a unique approach to food rescue and redistribution. It works like this: we deliver fresh, rescued produce to a participating school; students learn how to prepare nutritious meals, which are then packaged, frozen and returned to SecondBite as emergency food relief for people in need.
We began working with Montrose Bay High School, Hobart, in 2013. Students were initially tasked with preparing a range of hearty soups. As their confidence grew, they added increasingly sophisticated meals to their menu – from Thai green curry to roast chicken and vegetables. Participants also began visiting the SecondBite warehouse, learning about our food rescue operation, and seeing the impact of their work first hand.
By February 2016, the students had prepared 10,000 meals for disadvantaged Tasmanians – an incredible achievement.
‘Our students have developed a great sense of pride in producing tasty, nutritious and attractive meals. The program has provided the means for students to build their self-esteem, develop a wide-range of skills and be part of a highly functioning team.
A large number of students participating in the program had been previously disconnected to the school, school refusers or struggling to maintain their mainstream timetables. Some had transferred in from other schools for a fresh start and were struggling to find their path in our large school, and others had experienced extraordinary personal trauma. The program has re-engaged these students with high levels of success and some wonderful individual stories. Students have left the program inspired to make significant changes to their lives and have taken on hospitality pathways and/or enrolled in College. This program is a great example of the reciprocal partnerships that schools and community agencies can build.’
The enthusiasm and dedication of everyone involved with the ‘SecondBite in Schools’ program has enabled us to find another innovative way of providing healthy, nutritious food to people in need, free of charge. We look forward to taking this unique program to more schools across Australia in the near future!