Breaking Bread with Our Big Kitchen
From a commercial kitchen built and operated by volunteers in the Sydney suburb of Bondi, more than 120,000 home-made meals were last year donated to Australians in need.
Our Big Kitchen – known affectionately as OBK – was founded in 2005 by Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin and wife Laya, as a space for all walks of life to collaborate over the preparation of meals for the community.
To support volunteers cooking up a storm six days a week, Manildra Group has donated essential ingredients – including their Australian-grown and made flour, sugar and bakery premixes – since OBK’s inception.
“Manildra Group’s continued support of our organisation fills me with great ease – knowing we can consistently rely on staple donations so that if other food runs dry, we can always make fresh rolls and biscuits,” said Rabbi Dr Slavin of OBK’s success built from the original bread-and-biscuit
Rabbi Dr Slavin told The Cultivator that the non- denominational kitchen’s mission remained to bring people together through the spirit of cooking.
“During every cooking session, a noticeable atmosphere was being created, and we realised expanding our kitchen operations would not only help more people in need every day, but also enable us to bring more people together to share in the community spirit of cooking,” he said.
With two full-time staff and hundreds of volunteers working daily, weekly or once-off, OBK meals are offered to anyone needing the support.
“Food is a common denominator crossing all barriers, prejudice and judgement, and we are proud to have so many amazing people who have helped grow and shape OBK’s journey,” said Rabbi Dr Slavin.
Manildra Group Director Caroline Honan said OBK could “reach so many people in our community” by offering group events, corporate team-building and school programs.
While volunteering at the kitchen with her own family, Ms Honan said she appreciated the opportunity to “share in the knowledge passed around the kitchen table, whilst making something that can be enjoyed and appreciated by those who need our support”.