We are an indepedent charity and registered Not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide support, funding, and help for a variety of disadvantaged groups withinBrisbane. Our primary focus is to cook wholesome homemade meals and gives those meals to those in need.
Kindness takes many forms and sometimes, those with the least can give the most. Recently, we had finished serving and were packing up for the day. We had no meals left after serving a second helping to many. A lovely gentleman came up and was looking for a meal. We scrambled to find a spare meal but unfortunately none were left, and we felt terrible that we were unable to help this man.
After seeing what happened, a kind lady by the name of Winnie came over and offered her second helping to the gentleman. His face lit up with a warm smile and he was thankful for Winnie’s kindness – while we were all taken aback.
However small, Winnie’s generosity in sharing her food with this man is a perfect example of a small kindness that makes the world a better place. This selflessness is not often associated with the homeless community, but at Dig In we strive to celebrate these acts of kindness whenever possible.
We will continue to share these stories because this is exactly the kind of generosity we hope to inspire in the community. Whether you’re homeless or looking to contribute, there’s always something you can do to make the world a better place.
There is nothing better than digging into a certain meal you haven’t had in ages. We asked a few people what they haven’t eaten in a while and would like to have, the overwhelming response was a chilli con carne.
That next week with the help of Melinda and Kate, we gathered all the ingredients for the meal. Combining kilograms of lean mince, beans, spices and all sorts of things we ended up making a great tasting chilli con carne. We served this on a bed of rice and added corn chips on top.
This meal was an absolute hit. We had the biggest turnout ever at Dig In that Saturday the 10/02/ 2018. It just goes to show how far listening to what people want can go. Next week we will be serving another popular request good old Mac n Cheese.
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others, it provides an opportunity to connect and feel part of a team.
Everyone has their own reason why they would like to volunteer. At Dig In: we are so grateful to all our volunteers. We try to make it as easy as possible to sign up and get involved. We understand some charities are overloaded with volunteers, that isn’t the case with us. If you wish to volunteer you’ll be cooking, preparing and serving meals within two weeks.
The volunteering environment at Dig In: is laid-back and rewarding. What we do is relatively straightforward we cook meals from recipes and serve on time. It’s super simple stuff that anyone can help with. With the meals we cook there is a lot of downtime waiting for water to boil or meals to cook through, when this happens we all catch up and chat.
Once meals are cooked we place them in plastic containers and make our way to Kemp Place. It is here the fun begins.
We set up and start handing out meals. Once all meals are served we all break up and start chatting with everyone. Some of the stories people have are hilarious and it is really nice to build a friendship and catch up on what happened in others weeks. For me, this is certainly the highlight you just pick up where you left off last week.
This relationship would not be possible without meals. Our meals are a perfect icebreaker to start a conversation and check up on people. It can be hard at times hearing certain stories and can really make you feel like you aren’t doing enough but everyone appreciates the meal and chat far more than I initially comprehended.
When we all pack up and head back, the thanks and gratitude shown is overwhelming. It is incredible to see that a simple meal and a chat could bring out such positive emotions and be a highlight of many people’s Saturday.
This is why I volunteer for the opportunity to make someone’s day. As it certainly makes mine.
Let us know your reason and why you’d like to get involved by signing up here
On the third of March, we were fortunate enough to have two new volunteers come into the Kitchen and help us cook. The meal for this week was Spanakopita both a vegetarian and a meat version.
Debbie was kind enough to donate all the ingredients for this meal, we used 16kg of mince, dozens of pastry sheets, vegetables including onion and garlic. With many hands in the kitchen, we got right to work. Placing all the mince in big pots and browning the mince. Deidre and Euan were cutting onion after onion and battled through the tears to get the job done. They both then helped chop carrot and zucchini. Debbie was busily running around helping everybody with their jobs and working out the next steps of the recipe, all the while looking after simmering pots of mince. We added the vegetables to the mince and then allowed it to simmer for several minutes before adding the ricotta cheese. We stirred the cheese through and then proceeded to scoop the mixture onto a tray lined with pastry sheets. We cooked these for 45 minutes until golden on top. We then cut the Spanakopita into sections and served this in containers. We had also prepared garlic bread and served hot cross buns, both of which are kindly donated by Baker’s Delight Toombul.
This was a genuine team effort, and some special thanks need to be said to the following people. Debbie who did exceptionally well for cooking a record 91 meals, organising the kitchen and making one of the best meals I’ve ever seen cooked in the Dig In Kitchen.
A special thanks to Deidre for doing a fantastic job in the Kitchen and for her enthusiastic attitude. We are looking forward to her meal in the coming weeks.
Also a huge thanks to Euan who was an extraordinary volunteer and for someone with limited experience in the kitchen and should be proud of his efforts especially considering his young age.
This was the first-time Deb had cooked in such a large quantity, and it was a huge hit. All the meals were quickly devoured, and everyone loved them so much that the next week we still heard about how good it was. Even I was hungry just looking at the meals
, it was such a fantastic dish to cook as everyone could get involved and the final product was delicious.
At Dig In, anyone can volunteer regardless of cooking experience. There are many areas which people can get involved. While cooking large amounts of meals can be intimidating it is a team effort, and everyone in the Kitchen is there to help. As the saying goes many hands make light work and this is seen in the Dig In kitchen.
On Easter Saturday it was all systems go. We were under the pump with limited volunteers. With lots of jobs to get through.
We cooked Teriyaki chicken drumsticks and fried rice. The process was started by marinating all the drumsticks and placing them in the fridge. We then turned our attention towards cutting all the ingredients for the fried rice. We measured the rice and put the rice cookers on and waited.
In the meantime, we preheated the oven and added the 7 trays of marinated drumsticks. After 45 minutes these turned out beautifully, we left them in the oven while we prepared the fried rice.
Fried rice is fun and easy to cook. We mixed through a combination of soy sauce, peas, corn and loads of bacon, into the rice. After this, we were ready to serve the fried rice into containers and add chicken legs in.
We made our way down to the park and were greeted by many happy faces. Everyone was in good spirits as we unloaded the meals and the chocolate Easter eggs. The meals went in a flash, and everyone really enjoyed the drumsticks.
We were very fortunate to receive a large donation of Easter Eggs from Laura and the law firm MG Lawyers. These certainly didn’t go to waste and were handed out to all those who attended. We all stood around talked and exchanged laughs and a few stories. This is always the highlight of every week someone will have an absolute cracker of a joke or a story tell which we will all enjoy and have a good laugh about.
These friendships that we have built with the community is what keeps volunteers coming back. Every Saturday it is like catching up with friends, and it is certainly the most enjoyable part.
A Very Merry Dig In: Christmas
Here at Dig In: we had only been operating for 8 weeks when we realised Christmas was fast approaching and our regular Saturday serving time would fall just two days shy of the main event. Young and still very fresh faced we thought this was our time to give a bunch of people in the community a great Christmas style dinner that we all know and love.
We knew this was going to be a big task, but with an always enthusiastic team effort, we knew we could get it done. With a week to go before the big day, we sent out a help line to rally the troops and get as many people from the Dig In: community involved as we could. This was met with a fantastic response and with 25 volunteers ready for the day we set out to cook a feast for the ages.
The contributions were unbelievable with Bev making over 80 Christmas cakes, Sam using his background working in an Italian deli to carve up two beautiful legs of ham and certainly no one who enjoyed the meal that Saturday could forget Melinda’s signature potato salad. The best part was this was just the start of a fantastic meal which was enjoyed with lots of great conversation and community spirit.
The day was certainly one that won’t be forgotten soon, with over 60 meals handed out along with a few Christmas treats it was a meal for anyone to envy. We are all counting down the days for next year and hope we can put on something even more spectacular.
Until then we will be there week in week out, enjoying every minute of it.
A Saturday afternoon with the team from Dig In.
It was 3 pm on a sunny Saturday afternoon when the team from Dig in met at St James to cook up a storm (We mean that quite literally).
Brisbane City, two and a half hours later. YIKES
On the menu for that afternoon was a rich and flavoursome butter chicken and a favourite, spaghetti Bolognese.
To the swift tune of ‘here comes the sun’ by group favourite the Beatles, the Dig In team got underway expecting the afternoon to go smoothly …… little did they know that a good old Brissy thunderstorm was brewing at that moment.
The persistence and team worked to push themselves out of their comfort zone and cook just over 60 delicious meals for the afternoon in impressive time (even if we say so ourselves).
Racing against the clock to prepare the meals before the storm hits, the team got their hustle on splitting the team into packaging, serving and cleaning groups.
With the meals finally packaged the serving team locked and loaded in the Dig In the car to run the meals down to our mates at Kemp Place Fortitude Valley, the team from Dig thought they had done It or so it seemed.
Just as the Dig In Car Pulled up at Kemp Place, the loud claps of thunder were beginning to be heard across the Brisbane skyline, and massive drops of rain were starting to fall, but that wasn’t stopping anyone.
The warm community spirit was not going to be dampened by the cold and wet conditions, and despite the circumstances, the Dig in team was able to serve 63 piping hot freshly cooked meals to some very happy and warm-hearted customers.
Laugher and good times were had all round.
This donation provides you with the opportunity to provide 5 meals for 5 people in need. These meals are homecooked, hearty and wholesome. Five Meals like Pasta, Butter Chicken and Cottage Pie will be made thanks to your donation.
$25 is a small price to pay to make 10 people’s day