John Meyer


Your Coffee Helping to Feed Communities @ Urban Deli Cafe – Community Kitchen and Food-bank

Urban Deli Café in Maroochydore is a not-for-profit social enterprise run by the Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS), which aims to help the community.

Rather than relying on government handouts, social enterprises use the power of the marketplace to overcome problems like food scarcities, homelessness, lack of access to education, and other societal problems through commercially viable businesses.

One such business on the Sunshine Coast is the Urban Deli Café in Maroochydore, owned and operated by IFYS. All of the proceeds from this café go back into various community programs, like the Urban Angel Community Kitchen and other IFYS services that deliver a wide range of support specialist intervention programs for children, youth, families, and single parents.

The Urban Angel Community Kitchen is run by the Urban Deli Café with Registered Training Organisation (RTO) partners like Designer Life. Their offices in South East Queensland offer a government-funded Certificate II in Hospitality.

The course encompasses a hands-on approach to food in a hospitality setting. This includes cooking and barista classes, as well as food safety and customer service training among other essential hospitality skills. With training in all areas of running a café, it prepares students to enter the workforce. Engaging with the students on a one-to-one level and helping them to prepare and feel confident about a future job, the instructors provide a holistic approach to entering the job market.

This type of support program is necessary because, apart from providing beneficial training to help people get back into the workforce, it helps with social integration for those who have been isolated through difficult relationships, communities that are less fortunate, and a lack of access to education.

The students come from all walks of life. Life Designer Donna Bright said the students are incredibly diverse through various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, each student hoping for assistance in gaining employment or qualifications: “Students returning to the workforce…Mothers and daughters…Older students [who] are just trying to come back and get a foot in the door.”

The added benefits apart from gaining cooking and hospitality skills are found in the Urban Angel Community Kitchen. All the foods that the students cook go into the food bank’s freezer for storage or are distributed for people in emergency crises, such as homeless people or families that are unable to provide meals because they cannot afford food. The food is distributed directly to the public or by the various IFYS emergency reliefs centres, through referrals by other agencies, and through the foster care system within Queensland.

Café Manager Birgit Sowden said the main aim of the Urban Angels cooking classes is to fill the freezer with wholesome, family-friendly meals that have been cooked from scratch.

The Urban Deli Café is located at 1 Newspaper Pl, Maroochydore and is open 7.30am-3.00pm weekdays.

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