OPENING THE GATEWAY TO THE COOK EAT HAPPY PROGRAM

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If you’ve ever tried Domenic Zema’s authentic, handmade (with love) gnocchi, you’re going to wish you could turn back time, sign up to volunteer with Gateway Community Services and get along to this pasta making class that happened in July. The good news is that you can definitely still volunteer with Gateway. The bad news, Elon Musk hasn’t invented time travel. Backwards, at least.

Since meeting Gateway Community Services at the 2015 Community Pitch, Casa Di Tutti have seen the incredible impact that the volunteers have on their clients. If you don’t know about Gateway, grab a chair, this won’t take long.

Gateway is a not-for-profit community based organisation catering for a broad range of community members living in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Gateway has a very diverse range of services including social support, emergency food relief, volunteer recruitment, training and community education programs, CALD engagement programs, and disability respite. Gateway also manages the Hobsons Bay Community Register and assists up to 1,200 people weekly. Got that?

What’s the Community Register? Essentially it’s the list of people who during times of extreme weather (remember when it was hot?, yeah me either) Gateway call to make sure everything’s okay. And if it’s not, tell the appropriate people. It’s a simple service that Hobsons Bay Council facilitate and Gateway implement. It makes a big difference to the people who need it and their families.

Okay, back to cooking! Throwing open the doors of his mouth-watering ‘Ristorante Italiano’, Chef Zema invited Gateway in to share the love and knowledge passed to him to make the best Italian meal you can. Covered in flour, with a dusting of a cheeky smile and a ferocious laugh, Chef Zema relayed stories and secrets that obviously can not be put into print. You’ll need to take one of his regular cooking courses to find those out. Or wait for the hardcover…

Gateway also run community education programs which provide a diverse range of community-based programs, courses and workshops designed to meet the needs and interests of everyone. Programs are delivered at various locations across the western suburbs of Melbourne. These programs are delivered free of charge and support our local community’s needs, including sessions ‘Introduction to Volunteering’, ‘Wills and Powers of Attorneys’, ‘Financial Literacy’ and ‘Safety in the Community’.

“It was so enjoyable and such a unique experience to be taught how to make gnocchi and fettuccine from such a talented chef”, Cook Eat Happy Program participant.

A huge thank you to Domenic Zema, owner and chef of Casa Di Tutti on Victoria Street, Seddon for his generosity and time.

If you think you’d like to help make a difference to your community, you should get in touch with the team at Gateway. They’d love to show you how at gatewaycommunityservices.org.au or facebook.com/gatewaysupport.

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