Dine with the community; Meal Share program launches this Sunday
THE Portland Community Meal Share Program is set to launch this Sunday, and organisers are hoping the public will embrace the initiative with open arms, so it can operate as a regular Monday evening dinner.
The program, a free communal meal for all members of the community, will offer a simple, nutritious meal and the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, says program co-organiser Kerry Arnott.
“The meal has no cost; the dinner is not for people in financial hardship, it’s for everyone,” Ms Arnott said.
“However, we will have a donation tin available for people who wish to make a contribution.
“We hope to make it a regular event where people can have a meal together instead of something at home.”
Ms Arnott said if the launch event goes well, the weekly dinners will run from Monday April 1.
“If we have enough volunteers, the meal share program will run every Monday night.
“On the launch night people can sign up and nominate duties, such as cooking, meal preparation or cleaning, and we will work out a suitable roster from there.
“We are also seeking a small team who would be responsible for meal planning.”
The initiative began in 2017 after the community came together to discuss how to fill the void left by relief program Loaves and Fishes.
“We first held a forum (Community Meal Project Initiative public forum) on June 1, 2017, which was designed to assess whether people thought there was a need for a community meal share program.
“The overwhelming response was there was definitely a need, especially with the loss of Loaves and Fishes.”