BUSY lives and an ageing volunteer population are the main reason school canteens are struggling to remain open, said Wingham High School canteen manager Lynda Nash.
“It’s a constant battle to get people in,” said Lynda who despite having a team of volunteers on her books still gets caught out.
“Last Wednesday nobody was available and I was on my own,” said Lynda.
With an estimated 600 hungry mouths to feed, Lynda could do with an extra hand or two.
“We need more volunteers,” she acknowledges.
We are there to discuss the canteen recently receiving a five-star accreditation after being sprung with the dreaded health inspector visit.
Of course Lynda is proud and relieved and said the great thing is now the canteen will only get inspected annually instead of twice yearly.
Of course she hopes to maintain this accolade – five stars being the highest rating a canteen can get.
But as Lynda and her volunteers share their stories it is clear they are passionate about the need for more help.
“You don’t even have to have children at the school,” said Lynda who points out many of her volunteers have no other connection to the school, they simply enjoy their work.
“I just love coming in,” said volunteer Judy Abdoo who started volunteering 10 years ago when her daughter was at the school.
After her daughter graduated Judy chose to stay on and now lends a hand one day a week.
“It’s not hard,” said Judy of the work that is mostly food preparation and stocking fridges.
Busy mum Lauren owns Wingham Taxi’s, she has two children at the school and once a month she volunteers. She enjoys the camaraderie with her fellow volunteers and said the last two years she has volunteered has gone quickly.
“Time flies when you’re having fun,” she said. Marie Reeve is the muffin queen. “We make 14 dozen a day at least,” she said happy that the kid’s like her muffins so much.
Marie has been volunteering for more than 10 years at the canteen and certainly seems to enjoy herself. “It fills in the day,” she said adding that she always feels good at the end of the day.
The volunteers bake a variety of food for the canteen including vegie bakes, fettucine carbonara and spaghetti bolognese. The salad rolls are a hit too, selling out most days, “the kid’s love them,” said Lynda.
If you have a few hours to spare daily, weekly or even monthly and would like to help feed the kid’s of Wingham, give Lynda a call on 6553 5488.