The Frugal Feast – a smorgasbord of activities and awareness raising

24 November 2014

Zoya Patel

Zoya is the Senior Manager of Corporate Relations and Communication at YWCA Canberra.

The Frugal Feast 1We’ve just had the most extraordinary week! Between 17 – 21 November, we learnt self defence, shared sandwich stories, advocated, cooked a feast on a budget, and experienced a wonderful spoken word performance – as part of The Frugal Feast!

The Frugal Feast is raising food and financial donations for our Lanyon Food Hub. The Food Hub is an emergency relief program that provides free, nutritious food to young people and their families in need in the Tuggeranong region.

When we were planning our fundraising appeal for this Christmas, we started thinking about the festive season, and the notion of ‘feasting’. While we often associate the festive season with excess and consumption, both in terms of food and in terms of consumerism and spending, ‘feasting’ doesn’t have to mean either of these things. For us, The Frugal Feast is more about ‘feasting’ on family gatherings, friendships and fun.

That’s why we decided to host a week of special activities as part of the Appeal – to engage Canberrans in exciting, unique events and to raise awareness of the fact that there are young people and families in our local community who need our support. All events were entry via a note donation, with funds going back to the Food Hub.

The week of activities kicked off on Monday 17 November with a special self-defence class with Mitch, Head Coach at Dark Carnival gym. Mitch taught attendees the basics of ‘crazy monkey’ defence, which included basic tactics like using eye contact and a forceful voice, through to physical defence tactics and strategies. It was informative, and a lot of fun, leaving participants feeling empowered.

Tuesday 18 November was our launch event for The Frugal Feast recipe book. The book is a special collection of recipes and stories from both prominent and everyday Canberrans. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go back to the Food Hub. For our launch event at the ANU Food Co-Op, ‘Sandwiches and Stories’, we invited Minister Shane Rattenbury, Natasha Rudra (Food and Wine Editor at the Canberra Times) and Frances Crimmins (Executive Director of YWCA Canberra) to demonstrate making their favourite sandwich, while sharing their personal stories about food and nourishment. Following the demonstrations, The Cheeky Violets played wonderful music while attendees mingled, grabbed a sample of a sandwich and flicked through The Frugal Feast recipe book.

We were lucky to have Caterina Giorgi of For Purpose donate her time on Thursday 20 November to host a special advocacy seminar at YWCA Canberra. Attendees were able to learn directly from Caterina about advocacy techniques and strategies and leading change in the community. It was a valuable session that left participants with useful skills and knowledge, which they can take back to their own work.

Friday 21 November was a big day, with two Frugal Feast events. During lunch time, dietician Harriet Walker hosted a special cooking demonstration at the Market Kitchen Cooking School at Belconnen Markets, taking attendees through a budget, festive three course meal. The menu was delicious, and Harriet shared lots of innovative tricks and tips throughout the demonstration. Best of all, attendees were treated to a taste of the feast at the end! Special thanks to Belconnen Markets for donating ingredients and the venue for this event.

Finally, on Friday night, we hosted a Poetry Slam at Tree Eighty3 café in Civic. Tree Eighty3 is a wonderful, cosy café in Bailey’s Arcade, and the space was transformed for an intimate evening of poetry and readings. Local poets Raphael Kabo, Mount Abora Moth (Eleanor Malbon and Hannah Lord) and writer/performer Rosanna Stevens shared their words with the gathered crowd. Attendees feasted on delicious food from Tree Eighty3, and were treated to music from resident barista-cum-singer/songwriter Evan Packard. We would like to give a huge shout out to Tanya and Ralph from Tree Eighty3 for their support for The Frugal Feast (and for keeping our team pepped up with delicious coffees every week!).

At the end of the week, we’d raised $4,500 – almost halfway to our goal of $10,000!

A huge thank you to Mitch Langman, Caterina Giorgi, Minister Shane Rattenbury, Natasha Rudra, Harriet Walker, Raphael Kabo, Eleanor Malbon, Hannah Lord, Rosanna Stevens, Evan Packard, The Cheeky Violets, Tree Eighty3 and Belconnen Markets for supporting and contributing to our week of activities!

You can still contribute to The Frugal Feast, and support fellow Canberrans this festive season!

Make a food donation

Donations of non-perishable food items are needed by Friday 28 November, to make the biggest impact during the festive season. Check out a list of food items and drop off points here.

Donate online

Your online financial donations will help support the Food Hub into 2015, and are much appreciated!

Buy a copy of The Frugal Feast

The Frugal Feast recipe book is packed with delicious, budget festive recipes, and will make an excellent Christmas present for your loved ones! Grab a copy online today – all funds will be donated to the Food Hub.

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