Donation helps students eat healthy meals

Café Meals Club’s Melanie Craig, left, is pictured with Meriba’s Winsome De Jong at Colac’s Routley’s Bakery, which is one of three outlets in the program.

A WOMEN’S club has helped ensure Colac’s poorest students can continue to eat healthy meals.

Time for Youth’s Café Meals Club program allows students to buy a $10 meal for $2 at their school canteen.

Students qualify for the club if they are homeless, or at risk of homelessness or food insecurity.

Meriba women’s service club gave $2000 to the club to help it expand and continue.

Café Meals Club’s Melanie Craig said the program had eight Colac members, half of whom were in


“It is imperative to anyone’s learning and school experience that they can get through the day without feeling hungry or worrying where their next meal might come from,” Ms Craig said.

“This amount of money allows the student to get both healthy lunch and morning tea that otherwise would be out of reach,” she said.

The program was in danger of ending in February due to a lack of funding.

Meriba’s Winsome De Jong said the club decided to make a donation to Café Meals after reading an article in the Colac Herald.

“It really appealed to us as something we could raise money towards,” Mrs De Jong said.

“As I understand it, they’re people who can be homeless or doing it tough – this allows them to eat a healthy meal and there’s also the social aspect of eating at a café,” she said.

Mrs De Jong said Meriba had also donated to the Cancer Council, Corangamarah Aged Care and East Timor.

She said fundraising methods included a trivia night, Caulfield Cup lunch, Christmas hamper raffle and catering.

“Café Meals Club’s a very worthwhile project but it relies on philanthropic donations.”

Club members can also pay $3 for a $12 meal at Colac’s Routley’s Bakery and Country Foodstore.

“It is wonderful to see the local community getting behind and supporting the nutrition and wellbeing of Colac’s vulnerable young people,” Ms Craig said.

People interested in joining the program can contact Ms Craig at Time for Youth’s Geelong office.

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