As far as we know, it’s a first in food relief. Free, hot FareShare meals are now available from a vending machine in an innovative trial being conducted at a Brisbane school.
Available to students who may otherwise miss out, the meals were cooked by FareShare head chef James Fien and are heated and served after entering a pin number.
The Hot Food Vending Machine has taken several years to perfect and can heat a frozen meal from -18°C to +87° C in less than three minutes. “It’s no household microwave,” said James.
The concept was developed by local food relief charity Dig In. President Curtis Sciacca says early feedback is exciting.
“The team at FareShare optimised the meals to heat perfectly and taste great. Having FareShare as a partner has allowed us to have the confidence that all meals served are wholesome, nutritious, filling and delicious,” he said.
The meals have been going down a storm with St James College students who are able to access them when they need to without embarrassment. Their comments include:
‘As the meal is nearly ready to come out, you can start to smell it and it smells so good. My favourite is the Chicken Penang Curry’
‘Having a hot meal like this is something I look forward to throughout the day’
’These meals are great. They fill me up and taste awesome’
James says the menu was developed in close consultation with the students. “Nutrition is foremost, and we listened to what they were after and what was socially and culturally acceptable. They love chicken on the bone, and they love spice!”
Frank visits his local Mission Australia centre in Queensland daily to heat up his FareShare meal, make a cuppa and have a yarn with the staff. He enters with a contagious smile, and tells them