Our Kitchen Social Enterprise is excited to be returning to normal, and welcoming you all back to our regular Community Lunches.
Join us most Fridays during the active school term for a delicious two course meal for $10. Wear your comfy pants, our portions are generous!
While we missed having you all over to lunch, we stayed busy throughout the pandemic distributing thousands of free meals, and ensuring we were able to support our amazing adult learners on their journey to employment. After completing our Cooking Up Jobs and Commercial Kitchen Skills classes, our learners gained hands on hospitality experience and most went on to find paid employment. Not all of them are working in hospitality, our courses are great for building confidence, learning how to function in a team, and being able to multitask, which makes it easier to find a job in a wide range of industries.
There are loads of other benefits of joining in at Our Kitchen, either as a learner or a volunteer: you’ll make new friends, have a laugh, learn how to whip up a tasty meal on a tight budget, and eat the meals you make – win win!
With the support of The Ian Potter Foundation, Our Kitchen Social Enterprise is making some exciting changes to our business structure this year. Watch this space for some innovative partnerships, new retail products, and a SUPER exciting new class for everyone to enjoy (we can’t say too much yet, it’s a secret, but we are beside ourselves with anticipation!).
Our Kitchen Social Enterprise operates Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm, excluding public holidays, at the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre located in the Ballarat South Community Hub commercial kitchen.
Established in April 2017 with a Department of Education & Training Capacity and Innovation Fund Grant and a City of Ballarat Social Enterprise Grant, Our Kitchen Social Enterprise started as a 2 day per week, 16-week employability skills development course, called Enterprising Communities.
A catering social enterprise, it serviced local community members, organisations, and businesses. The multicultural menu used fresh produce from our Our Garden and SecondBite rescued food.
In 2018, Enterprising Communities was restructured to became Cooking up Jobs, and a 16-week Commercial Kitchen Skills course was added. During the year Our Kitchen Social Enterprise was created to encompass all our hospitality training,
A Victorian State Government Multicultural Capacity Building and Participation grant funded a new Baking with Language Skills course in 2019. In addition, 2 years funding from the RE Ross Trust allowed Our Kitchen Social Enterprise programs to run 5 days per week from January 2019.
In 2020 and 2021, during the Coronavirus pandemic Our Kitchen Social Enterprise catering and community lunches ceased. To continue providing workforce development training for our participants the program was repositioned to make and distribute free meals to the community. This was a much-needed service during some very trying times. The model not only fed thousands of vulnerable people and supported a diverse student cohort to become paid employees, it also formed lifelong friendships within an AMAZING group of volunteers who have since gone on to start their own businesses, find work across varied industries, or begun new careers.