NFP Kitchen-in-a-Shipping-Container Wins Design Gong
31 May 2013 at 6:10 pm
Australia’s oldest charity, The Benevolent Society has won an international design award for its conversion of a shipping container into a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen to promote healthy eating for school children.
The Benevolent Society’s mobile kitchen design won the Services category at the Australian International Design Awards in Sydney this week.
The mobile kitchen was designed to operate as a social enterprise within the Benevolent Society and aims to strengthen community and cultural ties and offer training and employment opportunities.
Benevolent Society CEO Anne Hollonds said it was an honour for the Taste Mobile Kitchen to win one of the longest standing, most prestigious design awards in the world.
“Our Taste Mobile Kitchen, a shipping container that converts into a mobile kitchen, is being used to break down cultural barriers and increase community cohesion in south west and western Sydney. It’s an inspiring example of how community needs can drive an innovative and creative solution,” she said.
Design Award judge Alex Cheek said the way the Taste Mobile Kitchen integrates many different elements is what makes it so admirable.
"The Benevolent Society thought about all the aspects of how to make a great experience for the school students and the community, as well as building a [social enterprise] business model around it. The fact that the Taste Mobile Kitchen is really connected to the environment it was designed for, makes it a great service and a great service design."
The Benevolent Society’s Growing Communities Together Program Manager Cathy Quinn said the Taste Mobile Kitchen was currently based at Banksia Road Public School in Greenacre.
The Benevolent Society runs ‘produce-to-plate’ cooking classes at Greenacre and other schools.
“Students and their families learn how to prepare simple, healthy and affordable meals using fresh produce from the school’s vegie patch and explore how one ingredient – vegetable, herb or spice – is used by a variety of cultures,” she said.
“All classes are led by locals, giving student and adult participants some real inside knowledge, giving residents an opportunity to gain qualifications and work locally, and giving the region’s businesses a boost at the same time. And all profits are reinvested into community development projects.
“The Kitchen is a social enterprise designed to strengthen community connections, bridge cultural divides, build community pride, break down negative stereotypes and develop local employment and training opportunities.
“It’s the first kitchen of its kind in Australia, running as a social enterprise. The income generated from commercial hire pays for community activities, so we don’t have to rely on donations or government grants to keep it going in the long term
“The kitchen is hired on weekends, with the income subsidising the kitchen’s activities in the school. Because it folds compactly into a shipping container, it can be easily transported for events like festivals and food fairs.”