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Oz Harvest collaboration a winner

Goodstart centres

When the children at Goodstart Elizabeth Vale sit down for lunch, they never know exactly what they’re getting.

That’s because each week the team receives a donation of food from Oz Harvest, an organisation which collects quality excess produce from more than 2000 commercial outlets and delivers it, free of charge, to more than 800 charities.

Goodstart Early Learning is a not-for-profit organisation.

Centre director Karyn Chapman said Oz Harvest delivered food to the service twice a week, supporting the centre’s aim to cut down on food wastage and increase sustainability.

“”We get bread, milk, eggs, roast meat, chickens and even turkeys and we pass on some of that to the families, and use some of it in our cooking,” Ms Chapman said.

If the menu changes during the week, the reflection books in each of the rooms will detail the new dishes on offer.  

Centre cook Luis, who has a Portuguese background, cooks a lot of spicy, different food to meet the needs of children who are from a variety of different backgrounds.

“That’s the kind of food the children are used to,” Ms Chapman said. “They’re from a lot of different backgrounds and that’s what they like to eat. Of course, if there’s something they don’t like we always make sure we have a backup.”

Dishes on the menu include frittatas and pulao, a vegetarian rice dish with mild spices. Luis also cooks more traditional dishes such as pasta bolognaise and savoury pinwheels. Breakfast is served at the centre to help out those families who have early morning starts.

The Elizabeth Vale centre is an excellence centre, meaning it has an "Excellent" rating under the National Quality Framework.

“The relationship we have with  Oz Harvest reinforces our commitment to the local community and to ensure we use sustainable practices where ever we are able.

“We got our exceeding rating about two and a half years ago and then have worked really hard to get the excellence rating. It was well worth the work and we’re thrilled with our centre," Ms Chapman said.
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