News & Events

Behind the scenes at Odyssey House

29 Apr 2016

Did you know the Odyssey House kitchens serve 400 meals a day, providing breakfast, morning tea, lunch, dinner and snacks every day to more than 100 residents? That’s 146,000 meals a year, prepared in industrial-sized kitchens: one at the main residential facility at Eagle Vale and another at Robin Hood Farm in Minto, where the Assessment & Referral Centre and Milton Luger Withdrawal Unit are located.

Residents work in the kitchens as part of their ‘job function’ within the therapeutic community, with a staff member overseeing operations. Between five and eight residents are rostered to each kitchen at a time and do everything from planning menus, ordering food, managing stock, and ensuring hygiene and occupational health and safety requirements are met, to preparing, cooking, cleaning, and serving food.

Only 30 per cent of clients have worked in the six months prior to admission and often lived unstructured lives without significant responsibility or life skills. Through their work at Odyssey House, clients learn practical skills as well as decision-making, problem-solving, teamwork, negotiation and empathy. They learn to get up at a regular time each morning, be productive, meet deadlines, accept and give instruction and guidance, and take responsibility.

Feeding 100 people nutritious meals every day requires large quantities of food, and Odyssey House is fortunate to have the support of organisations such as Oz Harvest, which delivers fresh food weekly, free of charge.