Mission Australia Elizabeth Vale Early Learning Centre is a child care centre in the Northern suburbs of Adelaide. The Early Learning Centre is accessed by over 60 local families for long day care service and has been a recipient agency of OzHarvest Adelaide since 2013.
Elizabeth Vale is recognised as a community where families often experience a range of vulnerabilities including restricted access to support services, low levels of employment and high level financial pressures.
OzHarvest food has become an integral part of the support Mission Australia offers to this community. Cooking experiences with the children, meals prepared onsite including lunch and snacks and food taken home by families all now incorporate rescued food from OzHarvest.
The twice weekly food drop offs are highly welcomed ‘shopping days’ for many parents as they celebrate the opportunity to access items they otherwise couldn’t afford.
One such example was described by Educator Tash as the ‘Garden Market’ which is offered to families when donations include fresh fruit and vegetables: “We have made a poster which explains who OzHarvest are and welcome parents to select from the produce boxes which sometimes include potatoes, onions and other vegetables”.
Tash also explained “OzHarvest recently gave us mini beef roasts which meant each of our families got to take home enough to share with their children for dinner. Our families live on very low incomes and wouldn’t normally buy this sort of food”.
She also expressed her gratitude that the learning experiences educators offer to children incorporate food received from OzHarvest. “Last week our babies enjoyed a food handling activity where they got to touch, smell and taste a wide range of vegetables including pumpkin, potatoes and zucchini”.
Mission Australia Elizabeth Vale openly share OzHarvest’ commitment to supporting their community and do an amazing job of maximising the benefits of the wonderful food received every week. In 2014 OzHarvest delivered 5,798 kg of rescued food to Mission Australia Elisabeth Vale, which equals to 17,393 meals donated to the community.