The Virtual Kitchen’s feeding Sydney’s homeless during COVID

On a daily basis in all corners of Sydney, virtual kitchens are busy preparing meals for Sydney’s homeless community. Brought together by Canice’s Kitchen, an inner-city homeless refuge, this COVID safe catering operation is mobilising the masses and feeding people in the hundreds.

Canice’s Kitchen is a stones throw from the Kings Cross fountain and pre COVID, ran a seven day a  week community safe space and commercial kitchen welcoming over 150 homeless men and women a day.

Carrie Deane, Community Manager knew that COVID could not mean the end of their food service and support network.

Whilst Deane says she’d far prefer to have guests and volunteers back onsite, connecting and supporting one another, she is grateful that Canice’s has continued to provide a consistent high level food service.

“We have chefs, dentists, brokers and families creating exceptional menu’s” she said. The feedback from our Guests and the local residents has been incredibly positive”

Over the past 20 weeks Canice’s virtual kitchens have prepared over 66,000 individual items of food. These items are dropped to Canice’s gates in the mornings and then made up into lunch packs. Every person seeking support receives a lunch pack, with options for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores.

Amenities also remained open to guests, with hot showers and access to personal care items have been in high demand. A health clinic operates out of the space weekly and a pop up coffee shop has given the centre a unique point of difference.

“We’ve seen a big shift in the people accessing our crisis support” she said. “more and more we are seeing everyday people financially affected by COVID needing help”

Next week they will offer onsite support to people to help them re-enter the job market.

“Through these times of uncertainty, we have seen incredible acts of kindness and generosity” “our volunteers truly are, the backbone of Canice’s” she commented.

Canice’s is now moving toward Phase 1 reopening as restrictions ease.

Canice’s Kitchen is open for lunch, coffee and tea and support services Monday through to Friday at 28 Roslyn Street, Elizabeth Bay.