10,000 and counting

SAINT Benedicts Community Day Centre served their 10,000th meal last week, celebrating years of providing food, advocacy and support for the community.

Elaine Lollback, the St. Benedicts co-ordinator, said her job is "all about food, about providing a hot meal for everyone and anyone in the community.

"We don't feed people, we provide meals. We don't have clients, we have guests."

On a busy day, St. Benedicts provides food for up to 75 people. A range of meals are served, including roast meals, stir-fries, and special desserts.

"We mainly source our food from donations, and so we get odd foods, food in abundance, produce from people's home gardens," Ms Lollback said.

St. Benedicts is funded mainly by donations from local clubs, and as a result works to a strict budget, with an average 87 cents spent on each meal.

As well as providing food, St. Benedicts provides a safe space for refuge, support and companionship.

"Guests are homeless, in need or simply lonely. St Benedicts is a great place to build connections and support.

"It's all about building a community around a meal. And the best part is you won't know the difference between the guests and the staff, we all sit down for a meal and a chat together," Ms Lollback said.

St. Benedicts was founded over a decade ago, as a join initiative between the Anglican, Uniting, Baptist and Roman Catholic Churches.

Its vision was to create one go-to place for members of the Queanbeyan community to visit for support, Ms Lollback said.

St. Benedicts is largely volunteer run with around 50 volunteers, yet Ms Lollback said, "You can never have enough volunteers."

St. Benedicts requires help in both the kitchens and through donations.

"It is even enough to come and participate, just to talk with each other," Ms Lollback said.

On December 25, St. Benedicts is celebrating the festive season with a large Christmas lunch.

Ms Lollback said they will need help gift wrapping, setting-up, preparing food, cleaning and simply spreading the Christmas cheer.

If interested in helping at St Benedicts contact Elaine on 6297 5331 or stbenedicts@lizzy.com.au.

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