BCE mothers serve up hundreds of meals ahead of National Volunteer Week 2022


​Siena Catholic Primary School parents and carers gather for their 'Soul Food' cook-up.

The lead up to Mother’s Day should be filled with relaxation and pampering, but instead a group of hardworking mothers from Siena Catholic Primary School, Sippy Downs, joined together earlier this month to make meals for local families in need.  
The Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) parents and carers gather for their ‘Soul Food’ cook-up twice a year, with their first cook-up for the year coinciding with National Volunteer Week (16 to 20 May).  
National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering with this year’s theme, ‘Better Together.’  
The Siena Catholic Primary parents took over Siena Catholic college’s commercial kitchen next-door for more than four hours, making an astounding array of meals including 10 quiches, 15 curries, 25 bolognaises, 25 lasagnes, and 300 biscuits and chocolate slices – and tripping the school’s power circuit in the process.  
Once cooked, the meals and treats are batched up and frozen, and shared with families throughout the year, providing a helping hand during unexpected hardships, illnesses, or even celebrations such as the birth of a new baby.  
Principal Glen Bucklar said the cook-up is always an enormous effort, with every meal being made and offered with love – by the community, for the community.  
“With over 30 parent volunteers involved in this year’s cook-up it is evident our community is ‘Better Together,’” Principal Bucklar said.  
I really take my hat off to the mothers, who every year put other mothers and families in our community above themselves.  
“To do something kind for those going through a difficult time, whether it be illness, or hardship – is a wonderful thing. Our teachers, staff, parents, or community members are given the power to nominate a family who may benefit from a pre-cooked meal throughout the school year.   
“We’ve found the ‘Soul Food’ cook-up to be hugely successful, providing support to those in our community who need it, sometimes in their darkest hour.  
The success of this program really exemplifies the importance of our school volunteers within our community and shines a light on the important work they do.  
The cook-up also embodies our school values, I always tell our students, justice looks out, up and spreads around.  
“In true National Volunteer Week style, I would like to thank all the Siena Catholic Primary School parents who were involved in this years ‘Soul Food’ cook-up, your contributions truly help build our community as a force for good.”   
Siena Catholic Primary School parent Bernadette Bain said she was anonymously nominated to receive a meal just after she gave birth to her fourth child – and hasn’t forgotten the kind gesture since.  
“A lovely parent anonymously nominated me to receive a few meals just after I gave birth to my youngest daughter Melodee, which was at the peak of COVID in May 2019 and we were all in lockdown,” she said.  
“It really helped my family at that time, with the demands of caring for a newborn baby and four children - it allowed me to have a break from dinner preparations for a few nights.  
Our school community truly exemplifies what it means to be ‘Better Together.’”  
For more information about Siena Catholic Primary School and to enrol click here. ​

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