Hospitality at Heart

Monday 11 January 2020

Committed to social justice issues through their schooling at McAuley Catholic College in Grafton, students in the hospitality program have banded together to prepare meals for the families of fellow students affected by bushfires. Many parts of the Clarence Valley and surrounds were badly hit, with properties lost and family livelihoods shattered.

Hospitality students from McAuley Catholic College in Grafton prepping Christmas meals for those in need

The students, many of them involved with Vinnies St Mary’s Conference, were no strangers to cooking for people in need. They had been running a BBQ trailer to serve people living on the margins, sometimes actually homeless, at The Hub in South Grafton.

But when COVID-19 put a stop to that, they moved to preparing fork-ready meals in the college’s well-equipped kitchen. Other meals continued to be delivered to St. Joseph’s Primary, South Grafton, where a number of students come from families doing it tough.

Tom Howard, a teacher at Macaulay Catholic College and a Vinnies Conference member, estimates that up to 40 people come along on an average night to receive a meal.

The meals vary from spaghetti bolognese through to tasty vegetarian, providing hearty meals which are gratefully received.

In December, a team of student cooks gathered for a giant pre-Christmas cook-up, preparing a huge array of packaged meals for distribution to locals who would need to be properly fed over the holiday season. The food was mostly frozen so that it could be stored safely and then microwaved over the Christmas-New Year period.

We are so grateful for the support of students at McAuley Catholic College in helping keep struggling locals fed throughout the holidays.

Find out how your school can get involved with Vinnies.