OzHarvet's NEST Program

14 February 19

OzHarvest’s NEST program gets a funding boost thanks to Greater Charitable Foundation

OzHarvest Gold Coast is set to deliver the first of many Nutritional Education Sustenance Training (NEST) programs to those most vulnerable across South-East Queensland thanks to funding from Greater Charitable Foundation, as part of its recently-announced annual grants program.

Greater Charitable Foundation has committed $75,000 over the next two years to allow the rollout of 16 of OzHarvest’s NEST (Nutrition Education Sustenance Training) programs on the Gold Coast.

The first session under the new funding initiative will be held on Tuesday, 5 February from 9-11am, for residents of Horizon Housing, part of Community Housing Ltd, Australia’s largest not for profit provider of community housing for those on low and moderate incomes.

As one of OzHarvest’s education programs, NEST aims to increase community connectedness and support people who are facing hardship. It involves a series of hands-on cooking and nutrition workshops carried out over five weeks, teaching people in need skills and knowledge to nurture themselves through healthier eating choices and food preparation.

OzHarvest Gold Coast NEST Coordinator, Sarah Carroll, is grateful for the new funding, which has secured the running of the program in 2019. “The NEST program is a meaningful and practical approach to healthy eating and nutrition, cooking skills and adopting good habits,” said Ms Carroll.

“NEST is designed to help to break down barriers associated with cooking by improving life skills around buying and preparing food at home, which ultimately leads to increased self-sufficiency, independence, better health and a positive lifestyle for the participants involved.”

Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, highlights the important role OzHarvest plays in the community and the benefits of the NEST program.

“OzHarvest provides valuable assistance through the provision of food to those in need, but what’s impressive to note is that they also do a lot of work focused on improving life outcomes for vulnerable members of the community through education and support programs,” Ms Long said.

“We are proud to fund the NEST program on the Gold Coast and we are excited to increase our impact, which has so far helped OzHarvest deliver 21 programs to 585 participants across the NSW Hunter region over the past two years.

“At Greater Charitable Foundation we are all about giving back to the community that supports us and we are grateful to be able to work with charities, like OzHarvest, to help make a difference.

Horizon Housing Queensland State Manager Jamie Muchall said as a leading provider of affordable housing on the Gold Coast, the organisation has seen first-hand the positive impact nutrition and life skills training can have on low income families.

“We’ve been working with OzHarvest since 2018 to provide Horizon Housing tenants across the Gold Coast with invaluable support and access to fresh food. This includes delivering over 600 kilograms of food each week and over the Christmas period providing home-cooked meals to those who really need it,” Mr Muchall said.

“We’re really pleased to be extending this partnership in a way that meets our tenants’ needs and offers such an important and valuable program that we know will help improve the quality of life and health outcomes for some of our community’s most vulnerable members.

 “Since we began our work in the affordable housing industry 25 years ago we have always looked at ways we can extend our services and partner with like-minded community organisations for the benefit of our tenants and we’re excited to be a part of bringing this fantastic program to families in need.”

The focus of the first session will be on balanced eating and living. NEST participants will learn about the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, the importance of a balanced diet, how to plan meals and make shopping lists as well as cooking some delicious healthy recipes.

For more information on the program visit https://www.ozharvest.org/what-we-do/nest-nutrition-education/