Sandwiches solve challenge

Baringa student Jessie Young was happy to help make sandwiches for children who attend school on an empty stomach. photograph cher jimenez
Baringa student Jessie Young was happy to help make sandwiches for children who attend school on an empty stomach. photograph cher jimenez

SIXTEEN-year-old Baringa School student Jessie Young has never felt hungry in school, however, once every three weeks, she and about nine other children make sandwiches for students who go to school on an empty stomach.

Since term one the Baringa students had been involved in Eat Up, a food project that delivered fresh sandwiches to disadvantaged primary students in local towns.

Moe's not-for-profit HopeWorks recently partnered with Eat Up to supply sandwiches to six local schools including two in Newborough.

Between 250 to 350 cheese and Vegemite sandwiches were made at HopeWorks opp shop on Moore Street once every three weeks by volunteer students.

Eat Up was initiated by Shepparton man Lyndon Galea who was shocked to learn that some children in his hometown went to school hungry.

Jessie said the best part of making sandwiches for other children was learning something out of school.

"It feels like I'm helping kids that don't have food at home ... it can make them know that they can always have lunch at school," she said.

Eat Up founder Lyndon Galea said the organisation made and delivered 58,000 sandwiches to a total of 271 schools across Victoria last term.

"It never began as an organisation or a big undertaking. At that stage I had no idea at all that we have kids in Australia who would miss out on food," Mr Galea told The Express. The sandwiches are delivered fresh to local schools who discreetly hand them over to disadvantaged children and keep the leftovers inside the freezer to keep the supply going for the next three weeks until the next delivery.

Elizabeth Street Primary School, which was one of four Moe schools receiving the sandwiches, started volunteering for Eat Up as a way of giving back.

"We were rapt that a program like that was here [so] we asked if there's a chance that some of our grade six students could come down and do some volunteering 'cause it's nice to give back to the community that's given to us," school welfare officer Carol O'Reilly said. 

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