Teens cook up a storm for SecondBite

STUDENTS from Montrose Bay High School have put their love of cooking and community-mindedness to good use by preparing nutritious meals that will be distributed to Tasmanians in need.

Run as part of the SecondBite in Schools initiative, the program sees students turn surplus fresh produce into meals that are frozen and distributed as emergency food relief to struggling Tasmanians.

Montrose Bay High School teacher assistant Nigel Walsh, who helps run the program, said the partnership with SecondBite was an “extremely successful” venture at the school.

Initially starting as a small initiative, Mr Walsh said the program had grown over the years to involve a large number of students.

“The principal approached SecondBite about establishing a program that was based on reciprocity – she was keen for the students to build a sense of community spirit and to support others in need in the local community,” he said.

“Through participating in the program, the students learn how to cope under pressure, cook meals economically, develop teamwork and leadership skills, and mentor new people entering the program.

“One of the most significant outcomes is that the students feel proud to be able to genuinely help others in their community.”

In addition to preparing meals for the less fortunate, the program also saw Montrose Bay year seven to 10 students cook up a four-course meal for official guests at a special event held in July.

Attended by business managers, politicians and principals from local schools, the students had the chance to mingle with guests and share their passion for cooking.

“The event was a great opportunity for students to try their hand at something a bit more involved,” Mr Walsh said.

“The students’ feedback was very positive and they were excited to participate in something that they all had a hand in planning, cooking and presenting.”

SecondBite in Schools is one of 10 youth programs benefiting from a share in more than $78,000 through the 2016 MyState Foundation grant program.

SecondBite Food program manager Pat Burton said that without the assistance of the MyState grant, the school program would have struggled to exist.

“We currently provide food free-of-charge to community food programs and emergency relief organisations, with the SecondBite in Schools program helping us deliver home-cooked meals,” he said.

“During the next two-years, we anticipate more than 500-young people will benefit from SecondBite in Schools, and we are looking to add further schools from across the state to the program in the coming months.”

MyState grant recipients are selected through an application process based on their project’s benefit to the wider Tasmanian community.

For more information about SecondBite, visit http://secondbite.org.

Caption: Montrose Bay High School students Harry and Eleanor serving up nutritious meals that will help feed some of Tasmania’s most vulnerable.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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