Food for the soul helps out

Mercedees and Porschia Cooper were happy with the spread at Dinner at Darron's last week. 109171 Picture: JESSE GRAHAM


HOT meals and warm smiles were just a few of the features on offer at last week’s Dinner at Darron’s event, which brought together a room of community members.
The Dinner at Darron’s event, which is held each Tuesday, hosted the local Rocky Road Choir on 29 October, who sung to the crowd of around 40 while they enjoyed some hot lasagne, mash potatoes and vegetables.
A team of volunteers from Healesville Interchurch Community Care Inc (HICCI) helped to serve up the meals to community members young and old at the Darren Honey Centre at Healesville’s Uniting Church.
HICCI Executive Officer Kerri Goding has been part of Dinner at Darron’s since it started running on 4 October 2005, and said the program celebrated its eighth birthday last month.
Ms Goding said the program started to look out for financially disadvantaged and socially isolated people in the community, particularly those who may not have been able to afford a warm meal.
“Now, it’s really just to bring people together for some fellowship and conversation, and to provide a nice, healthy meal,” he said.
Ms Goding said there was a community atmosphere at the Dinner at Darron’s program, with many visitors coming by each week and getting to know one another.
“It’s a community that looks out for each other, and we’ve seen friendships made out in the community,” she said.
“People look out for people – if someone’s been coming regularly and they don’t, well, someone might come along and take a meal to them.”
The program is run by volunteers and supported by regular donations from local businesses, such as the Sanctuary Stove Bakehouse and Toscanos, whom Ms Goding thanked for their commitment.
She said the program had been given an extra boost for the coming three years by a grant from the R.E. Ross Trust worth $15,000, but that the group was also looking at recruiting more volunteers.
Volunteers would help to cook and serve food at Dinner at Darron’s once every six weeks.
Dinner at Darron’s is held every Tuesday evening from 5.30-6.30pm at the Darron Honey Centre at 286 Maroondah Highway, Healesville.
For more information on the program, call HICCI on 5965 3529.