NEST – Nutrition Education Sustenance Training

NEST is a national education program by OzHarvest teaching people in need skills and knowledge to nurture themselves through healthier eating choices and food preparation through a series of hands-on cooking and nutrition workshops.

Designed around the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, participants learn about:

  • nutritious healthy eating choices
  • low cost meal planning
  • budgeting
  • reading food labels
  • correct food storage
  • shopping and cooking tips
  • minimising food waste

The NEST program is facilitated on-site and flexible in delivery, workshops can be tailored for cultural and dietary requirements.

Training is also offered to staff, cooks and volunteers at charitable organisations, to help increase understanding and improve skills on using food delivered by OzHarvest or to support existing programs already in place. After each workshop, participants share a nourishing meal together encouraging social inclusiveness and enhance community connections.

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

Watch Newcastle Jets players joining an OzHarvest Newcastle NEST workshop

Where is NEST delivered?

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

The NEST program is currently running in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and regional locations in QLD and NSW.


  • Improve knowledge about and skills around low cost, nutritious healthy eating choices and minimising food waste
  • Improve food purchasing and preparation behaviours for self-sufficiency, independence and better health and life habits
  • Break down barriers associated with food planning and preparation
  • Up-skill staff and volunteers within charitable agencies to prepare nutritious meal options
  • Provide additional opportunities for skilled volunteers to engage with OzHarvest

Book and find out more

Download further information here.

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

To book a NEST program please complete the enquiry form below.


Alex’s Story

When Alex joined a NEST workshop, he was unsure where his life was heading and what opportunities were available to him. He had been living on the streets, and in his car prior to securing temporary accommodation. Through NEST he discovered a love of cooking, where he showed natural talent and decided to aim for a job within the food industry.

Initially, Alex volunteered with OzHarvest assisting with food rescue and at Cooking for a Cause events, over a few months he learnt as much as he could from the talented chefs and even led a NEST class to cook up the most delicious Pad Thai (a family recipe). Alex’s energy and enthusiasm impressed everyone he crossed paths with, including top chef Vincent Lim who decided to hire him to work in his kitchen at the amazing new Perth restaurant, Laputa.

NEST Enquiry Form