What Goes on Each Day at Canice’s Kitchen

What Goes on Each Day at Canice’s Kitchen

St Canice’s Kitchen has been working hard to feed and celebrate the King Cross Sydney Community since its establishment 30 years ago in 1988. Since then we have moved up to serve 120 meals everyday 7 days a week and worked with other community services to help our guests feel comfortable and supported when they come to visit.

VoluteersHere’s our Wednesday Group

Here is what a typical day at St Canice’s Kitchen Looks like:


The volunteers arrive and are ready to set up the kitchen. Although a lot of our food is given to us by local businesses, many of our wonderful volunteers will bring it what is needed each day that we’re missing, many of them bringing in homemade food or sweet treats for our guests.

The food starts being prepped, sandwiches and toasties are a big one for us so we set up the ingredients and decide what we’re going to make for that day. It is important that our meals are healthy with plenty of options available for our guests. If we have hot meals to be cooked for that day we pull out our recipe and fire up the ovens.


Volunteers get assigned their morning prep work. Some of our daily tasks include:

  • Buttering bread – our bread gets sliced the night before, but buttering it is no easy task. We have hundreds of bread rolls and pieces of bread to butter. We always make sure we have many options available including white bread, wholemeal and multigrain.
  • Chopping vegetables – Usually one of our volunteers takes charge in the knife department, chopping up vegetables for our sandwiches and soups. Be careful with those sharp edges.
  • Cooking the food – Many of our volunteers have the parent’s touch in making delicious home cooked meals. A volunteer will make sure all our hot meals are ready for when the guests arrive
  • Making dessert – Desserts are always everyone’s favourite but we need to make sure they’re also health. Our favourite dessert to make is Fruit salad and custard.
  • Cleaning team – When you’re chopping vegetables, buttering bread and making hot meals there is always a lot of dirty dishes to be done. We make sure our dishes are scrubbed clean so we can meet our hygiene standards.


Morning tea break!

Making lunch for 100 people is hard work, we stop for 30mins to make sure our volunteers are well rested before the lunch rush


Final preparations before the day begins. We set up all the chairs and tables and make sure we’re standing ready for action.

11:00am – Lunch is served!

Our guests come in and make a line, and its go Go GO! Two volunteers handing out sandwiches, one flipping toasties, one each handing out hot food and dessert and the kitchen supervisor making sure that there are no issues and everyone has everything they need. This normally goes for an hour and a half, and its not uncommon for people to come back for seconds or for takeaway lunch.


What a normal lunch looks like:

Many of our guests can take between 1-3 sandwiches each as this may be the only meal they can have each day. Hot food is always popular and goes very fast. If one of our volunteers brings in chocolate biscuits or Tim Tams they’re always gone first. Many of our casual volunteers are shocked by how much food is eaten everyday by our guests but we always take it as a compliment of how good the food is!



Lunch wraps up and all of our food is gone! If it’s not eaten at lunch it’ll be taken away for dinner.

Clean up is on! We clean our dishes, utensils, sweep the floor, wipe down the tables and then mop. Some of our volunteers are cleaning professionals and the kitchen is always sparkling at the end.


Home time! Thanks so much for our volunteers who work hard everyday to make the kitchen possible!


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Don’t forget we are running in the City 2 Surf this year, to read more about it, click HERE

Carrie Deane