1 school, 5 charities, 35 days, 4,700 packed main meals and 2,000 soups and desserts, all within the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.  Instigated by Somerville House, The Charity Meal Project was just a small way that the School chose to give back to the community during a time of great need.

Prior to the pandemic, Somerville House chef, Jane Gray, coordinated a similar program in her spare time.

“COVID-19 created a sudden increase in demand that I could not keep up with”, she said.

“I was so grateful when the School offered to take on the overflow and run their own five-week relief project to support those around us through these challenging times”.Generous suppliers have committed to donating produce every week to assist the project, and the School’s catering staff and volunteers have been busy preparing the meals on-site in the commercial kitchen facility.

Corporate Enterprise Manager, Mr Ben Rolfe, has been overseeing the project and is proud to be building upon the efforts of our girls in green.

“We have an outstanding community service program that our students drive each year, fundraising for charities and raising awareness for important causes”, he said.

“I watch in admiration of our students and their determination to make a difference, and now my team is able to do the same”.

The Charity Meal Project is within its final week of the program, with organisations collecting the packed meals from the School campus, and delivering to those who need a helping hand.

SecondBite, a leading national food rescue organisation, has been heavily involved in the project, supplying produce and distributing meals to those affected by the recent crisis.

QLD Operations Manager, Tegan Wise, echoes SecondBite’s belief that projects like this “provide more than just a meal – they provide support, hope and friendship to those doing it tough”.

“We identified a gap in assistance for international students attending university in Australia, as they are not eligible for government assistance and a large volume of these students have been unable to work during the COVID-19 crisis”, Tegan said.

“Central Queensland (CQ) University approached us to seek assistance with providing meals for their students living in Australia”, she said.

“With the support from Somerville House’s Charity Meal Project, SecondBite QLD have been able to provide students from CQ University’s Brisbane campus, 200 meals per week over the past five weeks”.The Charity Meal Project would not have been possible without the generous support of SecondBite, PFD Food Services, Masterfoods, Nestle Australia and Visco Foods, who have donated food weekly.

These suppliers, along with the commitment of the Somerville House catering team, have assisted in supplying meals to Beyond DV, Pacific Connect & Support, We Care, Community Friends, and Rosie’s Friends on the Street.

On behalf of the Somerville House community, we thank Jane, Ben and their team for connecting the School with such a worthy cause.