Homeless Lunch

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By: Daniel Wilson

Last month I met a homeless man, Kevin. We had lunch together. It was a delicious three course banquet – appetiser, entree and dessert – we had fresh Italian coffee. It was pretty surreal.

It seems a bit odd seeing homeless people with a cloth napkin in their lap and sipping sparkling water from a wine glass. But once a year they gather in St Kilda.

Last month Melbourne Food and Wine Festival again teamed up with St Kilda Youth Service (SKYS) and their HEAT program (Hospitality, Employment and Training) to present the Homeless World’s Longest Lunch at Melbourne’s Luna Park.

Acclaimed Melbourne Chef and HEAT Patron Guy Grossi and the William Angliss Institute’s chef trainer Arnold Greiner, have worked with the HEAT students to create the delicious three-course lunch that was served for free on the day to the 150 attending guests. We sat at a long table under the mouth of Luna Park.

Kevin has been attending for the last five years, and being the veteran that he is he gave a speech. We were also entertained by the St Kilda Youth Service (SKYS) VCAL Music Students and Bek Seccy, a SKYS student who recently performed on stage with Paul Kelly, Clare Bowditch and Mick Harvey as part of a recent SKYS fundraiser.

The HEAT Homeless World’s Longest Lunch has been part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival since 2009. In 2013, this hugely successful event again occurred simultaneously with 20 other World’s Longest Lunches held throughout Victoria.

The event seeks to raise overall awareness of the issues of the disenfranchised and enables those less fortunate to enjoy a special day of celebration and great food. All proceeds go directly to HEAT projects.

I also met some of the HEAT volunteers. Their twelve week hospitality course culminated with this event.

It is an enchanting event that deserves our support. Go to www.skys.com.au to find out more.

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