What started out as a weekly hot lunch for 30 kids has grown into a service for 200 students at Picton High School.
Coordinator Sharon O’Brien started serving lunch to students two and a half years go and found there was a great need for the service in the school.
“The service started by providing food to Aboriginal students and their friends,” Ms O’Brien said.
“I knew that Lomandra School used food from OzHarvest so I got in contact and now OzHarvest deliver more food to Lomandra which we go pick up from Campbelltown,” Ms O’Brien said.
Food is also provided by Foodbank, local suppliers and orchardists.
Ms O’Brien said the students who used the service were surveyed and of those 60 per cent said they would not have had lunch without that meal.
The school discovered there were many students going hungry and they opened the service up to all students.
“Allowing all students to access the service means there is no stigma and anyone in the school community can get a hot meal,” Ms O’Brien said.
Teachers prepare and serve cooked meals every Thursday for students.
If there are left over then the meals are frozen and given to students to take home or are defrosted for students to eat throughout the week.
Fresh fruit is also available during lunch.
Ms O’Brien said a few students were given a lunch meal every day or breakfast.
Ms O’Brien if the students had a full stomach then they were more attentive in class and less disruptive.