Our Big Kitchen

Engadine High School

The Student Representative Council (SRC) had the privilege of volunteering at Our Big Kitchen (OBK) located in Bondi.

Our Big Kitchen is a community-run industrial kitchen where meals are prepared for distribution in and around Sydney. These meals are distributed to anyone in need, no matter their race, religion or culture. There are also many charities and organisations the OBK supports, including Bear Cottage, Wesley Mission, Lou’s Place, Oasis and Youth off the Streets. Through OBK, previous and newly elected members of the SRC are able to not only assist the wider community, but learn about teamwork and get to know one another.

Finally arriving after a train and bus trip, we were seated outside of the kitchen where we were spoken to about the purpose of OBK and how important their work is. After netting our hair and tying our aprons, we were introduced to the kitchen. For some, this was a whole new experience, while for others it was their second or third time participating. We all worked as a team, preparing and chopping vegetables for the curry that was being made that day. We also constructed Hamentashens (Triangular jam treats for a festival of Purim), which would be given to administration staff, doctors, nurses and families of people in hospitals and nursing homes. After having our great vegetarian lunch, which consisted of the curry and the rice, small groups of the SRC played different roles in packaging the food we helped make. We packed over 100 curry and rice meals and 52 soups, which were then to be delivered that afternoon. Last year alone, OBK delivered over 70,000 meals to those in need.

At Our Big Kitchen, their philosophy is to “connect and empower people to have them all work together to make a difference. To turn recipients into givers”, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s not every day you have the opportunity to impact someone’s life in this way, and overall it was one of the most rewarding and genuine experiences. In the words of some students who attended, “OBK was a necessary eye-opener to the world around me” (Joel Parker, Year 9) and “   It reminded me that there are many things we can do to help the wider community” (Nellie Breese, Year 10). Overall, our OBK experience can be summed up well by Year 9 student Tarleigh Grieff, “It felt good to be helping someone. It was such a great day!”.

Cassie Hilton, Year 10