NEST – Nutrition Education Sustenance Training


Our NEST program teaches people in need of all ages across Australia the skills and knowledge to nurture themselves through guidance around healthier eating choices and food preparation behaviours.

The programs are tailored to meet the needs of charitable organisations to incorporate training for those who access their services, as well as staff and volunteers within those organisations.

Topics are covered in several modules such as: balancing your diet; eating food for long-lasting energy; the truth about fats, oils and sugars; budgeting; and healthy eating for young children and parents as well as reading food labels, planning, storing and strategies to reduce waste.


Watch this Channel 7 news story on an OzHarvest Adelaide NEST workshop

Watch Newcastle Jets players joining an OzHarvest Newcastle NEST workshop


Where is the NEST program delivered?

NEST is delivered to agencies including men’s and women’s refuges, rehabilitation centres, community and neighbourhood centres, crisis accommodation centres, TAFE outreach services, youth services, special schools, medical support agencies and organisations supporting low socio-economic areas.

The NEST program has created positive impact within the community delivering over 1,400 workshops to more than 4,500 participants Nationally since 2013.


The specific objectives of the NEST program are to:

  1. Improve knowledge about and skills around low cost, nutritious healthy eating choices and minimising food waste (including the utilisation of left-overs);
  2. Improve food purchasing and preparation behaviours for future self-sufficiency, independence, better health and mental health and improved life habits;
  3. Break down barriers associated with food planning and preparation, allowing the people we service to enjoy the nutritional and social benefits of sharing a meal;
  4. Up-skill staff and volunteers within agencies to both prepare nutritious meal options within their services and pass valuable knowledge and skills to clients to inspire positive future behaviours and attitudes around food and meals;
  5. Provide additional opportunities for suitably skilled volunteers to engage with OzHarvest’s cause – especially exposing students studying nutrition to the issues surrounding food insecurity;
  6. Allow OzHarvest to add further social and environmental impact via its work.

To find out more about NEST please contact our team via email or call 1800 108 006.


The OzHarvest NEST program exceeded our expectations, providing an engaging, informative and practical nutrition program to a student cohort of disengaged youth with little knowledge of nutrition and food preparation.

– NEST Agency


Budgeting has been a huge problem for me due to my gambling addiction. I often wouldn’t eat because of money. To be educated about things like staples and being able to make such yummy meals is very exciting.

– NEST Participant


It has been an absolute pleasure working with OzHarvest and Top Nosh/Eat Street has been our most in demand program. I have received so much positive verbal feedback from both parents and young people that the impact of this wonderful program is very evident.

– NEST Agency



A NEST Success Story

For months Alex generously donated his time as a volunteer for OzHarvest driving our food collection vans, washing containers onsite at our warehouse in East Perth and helping out with multiple Cooking for a Cause events. He volunteered at our 2nd birthday celebrations as one of our NEST Chefs.

Before Alex started volunteering with OzHarvest he had only just secured temporary accommodation after living on the streets and in his car for a considerable amount of time. When Alex began the NEST program as a participant he was unsure of where his life was heading and what opportunities were available to him.

After discovering a love of cooking in the NEST workshops and a natural talent in the kitchen Alex one day announced to a room of NEST participants and volunteers that he would do whatever he needed to do to get employment in the industry. That is exactly what he did!

Alex decided to lay his own path. He volunteered at every Cooking for a Cause event, learnt as much as he could from our generous chefs and led a NEST class to cook up the most delicious pad Thai (a family recipe). His energy and enthusiasm impressed everyone he crossed paths with, so much so that top chef Vincent Lim hired Alex to work in his kitchen at the amazing new Perth restaurant, Laputa.

Alex now sees his future very differently. He loves working at the restaurant and is now looking for his own accommodation. He is extremely excited about his future.