Our Big Kitchen

By on Nov 26, 2018 in Giving, People

Earlier this month, Team Yardi Australia headed to Bondi in Sydney. Switching out their laptops and phones for kitchen knives and potato peelers, the team spent the afternoons volunteering at Our Big Kitchen (OBK).

OBK is about more than food, it’s a community kitchen with a soul. Created in 2000, its designed to help those in need; whether they’re going through a hard time, need a hand getting started, or are just looking for a place that provides a warm and nurturing environment. It aims not just to provide a community to its volunteers, but to help look after the millions of Australians going hungry every day.

Despite being “the lucky country,” 2.2 million people in Australia go without food every year. Of those, tens of thousands come from New South Wales. OBK is on a mission to help those people, working closely with organisations such as SecondBite and Foodbank to minimize food waste and turn fresh produce into a home cooked meal. These meals are then distributed to the homeless and to regional shelters, including refuges for women and children, domestic violence shelters, asylum seekers, and more. Last year, OBK distributed over 80,000 meals to those in need.

“The experience  gave all the people involved a sense of reality of how good a lot of us have it in life. Giving a little bit of our time helped 200 people that day. I recommend everyone gives a little to people in need, just like we did. It was a truly uplifting experience,” said Brook Baker, regional director, Australia and New Zealand sales.

For the Yardi team, the afternoons represented an opportunity to give back, whilst learning more about the darker side of the city they live in. George Karounis, founder of OBK,  shared with the Yardi volunteers some inspiring stories which explained the concept of OBK and the impact that volunteers have on in-need Australians.

After a solemn but uplifting beginning, the team put on their aprons and hair nets, and the fun really began! Proceeding to the main kitchen to begin cooking, Team Yardi were introduced to Joey, who oversees the kitchen and meal preparation. After a stern discussion on exactly what was expected, the first task was preparing a hearty stew, containing rescue vegetables saved from landfill.

Following his instructions, Team Yardi got to work peeling, chopping and dicing , which would later go into a giant pot to be cooked. These freshly cooked meals were then packed into containers, ready to be delivered to those in need.

Once all meals were cooked, packed, and the kitchen wiped down, the team then proceeded to prepare dessert:  delicious hand-made cookies. Here they got competitive, rolling and cutting kilos of dough to ultimately break an OBK record: not only had they sent out over 360 meals, but they’d made 1400+ cookies.

Team Yardi is energized for good! Find out more about Our Big Kitchen here