Small starts and significant success – how communities make a difference

By Ruth Limkin

Last night I heard about small successes which made me a little bit teary and very much happy. The news in and of itself was less than earth-shattering, but for the disadvantaged children involved, it may be life-changing.

The charity I work with runs a medium term food support program called the Fresh Start Program. The philosophy of the program is that we partner with those in need, by providing access to healthy, fresh food, and the skills to use those ingredients to plan and prepare meals.

Part of the program includes cooking classes, where we teach program participants how to use the food they receive to make meals from scratch.

Our Community Program Manager recently did several presentations about our program to a local Young Parents Program. Those presentations lead to several young parents joining Fresh Start. They also attended a cooking class last week, and while they may have arrived knowing little to nothing about making a meal, they left with the ability and motivation to make tuna, vegetable and pasta bake.

That might not seem like a big deal if you’ve been raised in a home where making a meal from scratch was normal.

But if you’re a child of a young parent, and no-one has ever shown them how to make you a meal, then you’re starting life from way behind the nutritional eight ball. The lack of proper nutrition places you at risk of developmental, behavioural and social problems, and has long term implications for your education and future economic success.

Learning to make tuna, vegetable and pasta bake is just a start, but it is most definitely a start. By partnering with these new little families, we can help them change their trajectory and look to break generational cycles of disadvantage.

While the charity has limited resources and only part-time staff, it is making a difference because of passionate volunteers and private supporters. It’s the perfect example of the power of a community partnering with people they may never meet, but love enough to help anyway.

Maybe it really is love that makes the world go round.


If you’d like to make a donation to Nexus Care so they can help give people a fresh start, click here – and thank you! Every dollar makes a difference, and every donation over $2 is tax-deductible.