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Homeless World’s Longest Lunch

NOW in it’s sixth year, the Homeless World’s Longest Lunch was another resounding success over the weekend. Rachel Furolo went along to chat with celebrity chef and supporter Guy Grossi. 

Homeless diners enjoyed their meal under the mouth of Luna Park. Photo: Rachel Furolo.

Homeless diners enjoyed their meal under the mouth of Luna Park. Photo: Rachel Furolo.

Organised by the St Kilda Youth Service’s (SKYS) HEAT program, the Homeless World’s Longest Lunch was part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and provided Melbourne’s homeless and disadvantaged with a three-course lunch.

The goal was to raise awareness about homelessness and provide a unique dining experience to disadvantaged members of society. The event also gave underprivileged youth the opportunity to gain valuable training in employment and education as all the day’s cooks and servers were volunteers.

Naturally, it wasn’t easy to find participants for the lunch, so organisers networked through community agencies and local council. Corporate and private donations were also sought in what SKYS youth programs manager Kylie Galea described as the “rich giving back to the poor”.

More than 150 people dined under clear skies and a beautifully sunny day on chairs and tables set up under the famous mouth of Luna Park especially for the event.

HEAT CEO Trisha Silvers welcomed everyone along with patron and celebrity chef Guy Grossi, who got involved with the organisation after becoming interested in their work years ago.

Guy Grossi lends his celebrity chef power to the event. Photo: Rachel Furolo.

Guy Grossi lends his celebrity chef power to the event. Photo: Rachel Furolo.

“HEAT is a great way of empowering our youth and offering them that little bit of education, which gives them the confidence to be able to move forward and engage properly again.

“If you start young, you can save people from problems down the track in the future,” said Guy.

Guy designed the menu with William Angliss chef Arnold Greiner to include an entree of handmade falafel, Greek salad and yoghurt, a main of Bolognese penne pasta with rocket salad and a dessert of tiramisu.

This year's menu was Italian-inspired thanks to Guy Grossi's contribution. Photo: Rachel Furolo.

This year’s menu was Italian-inspired thanks to Guy Grossi’s contribution. Photo: Rachel Furolo.

The menu was extremely well received and enjoyed by the guests. There was a lively atmosphere of community spirit throughout the lunch, with people of all ages and walks of life gathering together to enjoy the day.

The Homeless World’s Longest Lunch is unique to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival as it encourages diversity and giving back to the community.

For more Melboune Food and Wine Festival events, check out their calendar. The festival ends 16 March! 

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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