Providing meals in Sydney
Our Big Kitchen (OBK) is a community-run, non-denominational, industrial kitchen located in Bondi, NSW, where meals are prepared by groups and volunteers for distribution to needy people across Sydney. Founded in 2005, OBK came from humble beginnings as a small kosher community kitchen that cared for local families in need. It has since grown into a large-scale industrial kitchen that is capable of cooking and distributing over 80,000 meals each and every year.
OBK works closely with food rescue organisations to minimise food waste. The kitchen relies on the generosity of the local community and provides a safe, non-judgmental environment where locals from all backgrounds can connect through doing good and preparing meals. These meals are distributed to shelters and organisations including The Salvation Army, St Vincent’s De Paul, Wayside Chapel, Jewish House, local women’s refuges, local children’s refuges, Domestic Violence shelters and to asylum seekers.
Why it matters
Despite Australia being one of the most privileged regions on earth, over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of vulnerable Australians requiring food bank support. Compounding demand, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a further 47% increase in requests for charity food relief services. Many Australians who are currently seeking food relief services are doing so for the first time, and those who were already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic are now seeking assistance more often.
This incredible increase in demand for food relief has meant that many food banks and community kitchens are working overtime to meet the needs of all those who require assistance. These organisations are often community-led and rely on the generosity of others to ensure food banks are stocked and meals are prepared and distributed to nourish those in need.