Birallee’s “Our Table to Yours” project has been helping to feed the local community for the last 9 years. For many people in Wodonga the inability to cook healthy fresh food for themselves or their family is a daily reality. The program is operated out of the Neighbourhood House at 39 Emerald Avenue, West Wodonga. Large garden beds are on site producing all manner of herbs and vegetables, most of which are started off as seedlings in our greenhouse. Volunteers are welcomed from all walks of life – local schools use our program as part of their curriculum to engage students in the community, seniors are able to showcase lost skills to show our younger more inexperienced volunteers best practices, and community groups regularly use the gardens and kitchen as therapy and to aid in their recovery.
Over 600 meals a week are prepared for distribution to those in need, with daily cooking workshops based on menus designed seasonally around what is growing, and what is able to be frozen without losing quality, taste and nutritional value. Saucy Italian meatballs with vegetables, beef stir fry, hearty vegetable soup, lasagna. Take your pick from any one of the nutritious meals produced each week by a dedicated band of cooks and volunteers.
Access to the meal packs is available to local charities and support groups and agencies, which generally collect meals on a regular weekly basis from our premises. As a part of the Albury/Wodonga Emergency Food Relief Providers Network, Birallee is able to give away in excess of 24,000 individual healthy cooked meals yearly, to the community. The bulk of its donated meals are supplied to AlburyWodonga Regional Foodshare, so that others in the community can further access our meals from this organisation. Support is also provided to individuals who require the services of the Ronald McDonald Family Room, Palliative Care, local Churches, Salvation Army, Gateway Health, and many other smaller groups through their volunteers and care support teams who access meals directly from our venue. Birallee is also on the Steering Committee of the Wodonga Local Food Network and works to obtain access to healthy food for everyone in our community.
Our food relief project covers over 8 regions, not just the immediate community, with meals going down to Melbourne with parents of babies and children undergoing medical treatment in the Royal Children’s Hospital, or up to Corryong and out to the Mitta valley for farm assistance at times of crisis. It has also acted as a pilot program for start ups elsewhere, in towns experiencing food security issues.
We do not deliver, so you will have to arrange transport to our premises at 39 Emerald Avenue, West Wodonga to coincide with the opening times.
No one is refused food, and help is always available from the House. However, whilst we encourage individuals in need of help to make Uniting Wodonga their first point of contact, as they are set up specifically to assist, short term assistance with meals is always available, and individuals can telephone Amanda in Birallee’s office on (02)60 59 2590 – our hours are 9.00am – 2.00pm each weekday. We can then provide them with immediate relief along with appropriate referrals for ongoing assistance. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our FaceBook page www.Facebook/Birhouse