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Christmas spirit all year round

At the Maleny RSL, every Wednesday from 4.30-6.30pm, you will find an example of Christmas spirit that lasts long after the festive season is finished.  

By Victoria McGuin

The People's Kitchen is a testament to the power of community care, a place where locals gather, and free meals are served. Every week, between 20 to 30 individuals are welcomed with open arms, to share not just food, but compassion and connection.

The People's Kitchen was created by a group in Maleny who like to cook - Maggie Beal, Brian Nixon and Rayna Bond. All three wanted to provide a hearty meal to anyone doing it tough and provide a different choice of dishes so that all requirements are covered, and so The People’s Kitchen was born!

“We have found that we are welcoming quite a few single older people, who appreciate the companionship, and families who just need a break,” said Rayna.

Private members, as well as local supermarkets like Woolworths and IGA, contribute to the cause by donating food items that transform into nourishing meals for those in need.

“Meals are generally three courses,” shared Rayna. “Soup, a main – we always have two choices – and dessert. Everyone is welcome to as many courses as they like.

“We always have a vegetarian option for at least one of the courses. Our most recent menu was veggie soup, Beef Stroganoff, pulled pork ribs in buns and salad. There will always be dessert and some fruit.

“Over the last four weeks we’ve also served individual cottage pie (pictured), spaghetti and meatballs, frittata, soft shell tacos, beef curry, Moroccan chicken curry, minestrone soup, and ox-tail stew.”

Their last Wednesday meal of the year was December 20, but the team will be back weekly from January 17, 2024. 

“There is definitely a need,” said Rayna. “And we couldn’t do any of it without the unyielding support of the Maleny RSL. They provide the space to us for free and are very, very accommodating.” 

From January 17, enjoy a free meal every Wednesday between 4.30 and 6.30pm at the Maleny RSL at 1 Bunya St, Maleny 4552. 


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