Jamie’s Ministry lends a hand during floods

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 29th March 2011

flood.jpgQueensland Premier and Minister for Reconstruction Anna Bligh has thanked the staff at Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food for feeding hungry Ipswich residents during the recent floods.

Queensland is the first State to partner with Jamie Oliver’s highly successful Ministry of Food program, with the Government committing up to $2.5 million over four years to support its delivery in partnership with The Good Foundation.

“The staff at Jamie’s Ministry of Food worked tirelessly throughout those vital first weeks during the flood recovery in Ipswich to feed residents in need of a fresh meal,” Bligh said.

“They supplied almost 3,500 meals to flood affected Ipswich residents from a temporary kitchen at the Ministry of Food site.

“Their generosity brought the community together to a place they could go to share hardships but most of all it provided a chance to have a break and enjoy a nutritious meal.”

Premier Bligh and Health Minister Geoff Wilson said the meals provided by the Ministry of Food during that week were just a taste of what is to come for the people of Ipswich.

“I am pleased to announce that construction of the Ministry of Food facility is almost complete and it is due to be open on the 14th of April,” said Ms Bligh.

“An official opening will be held and the people of Ipswich will have the chance to come and take a look at the first Ministry of Food to open in Australia, right here in their backyard.

“The Bligh Government is determined to make Queenslanders Australia’s healthiest people by 2020 by reducing obesity and the chronic diseases faced by many Queenslanders and the Ministry of Food will provide important steps towards achieving this goal.”

Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said local residents will be able to join up for 10 week cooking classes and receive information on ingredients, shopping, budgeting, meal planning, food preparation and basic cooking as part of their overall Ministry of Food package.

“The Ministry will offer the highest standard in cooking facilities with the capacity to teach 10-12 people at session with four and six classes a day, six days a week, 48 weeks a year,” Ms Nolan said.

“This means up to 2073 Ipswich residents can learn the joys of cooking at the Ministry of Food every year.”

Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt said he is looking forward seeing the facility in action.

“The fact that locals will be able to cook in unison to tasty recipes, dreamed up by one of the world’s top chefs, Jamie Oliver, is a great thing for Ipswich.”