Kids cook­ing up a storm

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Madi­son Wil­liams

FOUR lo­cal busi­nesses have teamed up with the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil to de­liver a much-need kitchen to the Moss­man Youth Cen­tre.

The kitchen has al­ready had a pos­i­tive im­pact on the young­sters who are learn­ing the value of nu­trion and how to cook at home.

Cindy Small from NQ Homes re­cruited the help of M & R Kitchens, Reece Plumb­ing and Sta­tus Plus when she no­ticed the lack of cook­ing fa­cil­i­ties at the cen­tre.

“We only worked off a por­ta­ble ta­ble with a toast ma­chine,” said youth de­vel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor Be­sarah Har­ris.

The busi­nesses set to work trans­form­ing the derelict space into a func­tion­ing kitchen with a brand new stove, fridge and sink.

Ms Har­ris said the kitchen had opened up a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for the youths.

“This has en­abled us to pro­vide good, healthy cook­ing,” she said.

“The kids are on board to learn new skills, new tech- niques and new flavours with healthy pro­duce like fresh veg­eta­bles.

“An­other pos­i­tive out­come of hav­ing this kitchen has been the idea to iden­tify school kids, from pri­mary school to high school with low at­ten­dance that aren’t get­ting lunch and — be­cause we have a fa­cil­ity now — do a pro­gram called Food for Thought.”

As a re­sult of the pro­gram, she said, staff at the youth cen­tre were able to pro­vide the young­sters with suf­fi­cient nutri­tion so they had a good ca­pac­ity to think about their home­work and their school­work and en­cour­age a high at­ten­dance.

Coun­cil con­trib­uted $4000 to the pro­ject and pro­vided con­sul­tancy dur­ing con­struc- tion, as the cen­tre is in a world her­itage build­ing.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu spoke of the ne­ces­sity of the kitchen and the im­por­tance of bal­anced meals for chil­dren.

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