Munch munch Healesville lunch


Gabriella Vukman

Fostering Christmas spirit in the community, the Healesville Library welcomes all to a Christmas Lunch held on December 21.

The Christmas lunch commences at 12:30pm and is located at the Healesville library.

Bookings for this event open December 1 and are required for attendance.

Team leader at the Healesville Library, Sabina Wills said “this Christmas luncheon is about fun and socialising.”

“Everyone is welcome. We are trying to build social interaction and meeting other people and having a meal is a part of that process,” Sabina said.

This year’s luncheon is the second in the Library’s history and runs off the back of the Library’s community lunch program.

Sabina said, “we are very lucky in that we have a kitchen. Most other libraries don’t have that luxury.”

“Starting in June 2022, we’ve run 15 community events and had 523 meals produced in that period.

“This is our second event that is just celebrating Christmas.”

The community meals program started with soups that would be hand-prepared by library staff in the kitchen. Now, the library has enlisted catering support and hosted a vast range of events ranging from a Cooke Islands-themed luncheon to a Mad Hatter’s tea party, all the while catering for dietary requirements.

“It’s just been fantastic to see so many different people meet each other and make connections,” Sabina said.

“The meals have been a fantastic opportunity for people to meet each other in a safe environment.”

The idea for the community meals was inspired by the Tuscan Contrada style dinner where the notion of ‘building a longer table rather than a higher fence’ is endorsed.

“We loved the idea. We’ve got these big long tables and because we are fortunate enough to have a kitchen, we could start with soup as we could cook it ourselves,” Sabina said.

“Bakers Delight gave us bread and we began in June 2022 when people were only just allowed in the library again without a vax certificate.”

While the upcoming Christmas lunch event along with the library’s other community lunch programs are free of charge, the library is looking for funding for next year’s endeavours.

Sabina said, “we were fortunate enough to receive funding through the community recovery committee grant and now we are looking for sponsorships to continue the meals.”

“We have funding until the end of christmas. The grant money has expired and that’s why we’re looking for funding.”.

Anyone wishing to contribute to next year’s endeavours is welcome to reach out to Sabina via the Healesville library’s website.

“Healesville library has a small budget for events and we are grateful that people have been kind enough to donate thus far,” Sabina said.

For next year, the three areas the library requires funding for are food, catering support and entertainment.

“Everyone in the Healesville team really loves the community meals and we see the great benefits they have,” Sabina said.

“We thank the local Healesville community, they’ve been very supportive of the program and everyone who has attended the event has loved it.”

“It’s really about sharing and kindness, sharing kindness and resources and focusing on social inclusion. Including everyone. Everyone is included and everyone is welcome,” Sabina said.

Bookings can be made via the Healesville library website as of December 1, or via a phone call to the library on 9800 6497.