Cooking for animals in the NSW Floods12th July 2022 | 2 mins
When Chef Deb at Tweed River Care Community wanted to expand their popular Cooking Club to involve residents, team and the greater Tweed Heads community, she considered the two ingredients proven to bring our residents joy - cooking and animals.
Cooking Club is a time for residents to throw on their aprons and cook their favourite meals with our chef and kitchen team. Every meal is meaningful and each month residents put their heads together and select a special recipe. During these meetups residents enjoy sharing stories from their younger years, especially those who have worked as chefs or caterers in the past.
Residents’ Cooking Club supports their local community, hit by NSW floods
Deb’s idea was to expand the Club to make a meaningful impact on the wider community. Tweed River regularly welcomes team members’ pets, among them dogs, chickens and rabbits. Knowing how much our residents love the animals, and thrive on helping others, Deb decided to put the Cooking Club to work baking special treats for animals in need. She contacted a number of local animal shelters who were delighted at the prospect.
Deb aims to have as many residents as possible participate, using all their different skill sets. It has become a true team effort, with the Cooking Club, lifestyle team and craft group collaborating to make blankets and dog toys.
Calling themselves Tweed Rescue Community Cooking, each club member has a lanyard featuring their photo and a business card which they wear with pride.
Once a month they work together to prepare and cook treats and the following day they visit a local shelter to deliver them to animals in need of a forever home. So far they’ve made three visits and are busy planning more at their regular Cooking Club logistics meetings.
Caring for animals in need
For our residents, the highlight is watching the animals express pure joy when they receive their goodies.
“Seeing the joy on our residents’ faces and observing how the animals respond to them with so much unconditional love in their eyes makes everything worthwhile”, says Deb.
Cabarita Beach Pet Resort, a local pet boarding facility, opened their doors to people who lost their homes in the floods and needed temporary care for their pets. Our Cooking Club gifted 20 boxes of homemade peanut butter, oat and parsley cookies, 20 boxes of apple and carrot muffin bites, as well as blankets and chew toys. The Cabarita team does a wonderful job caring for animals and welcomed our residents’ contribution with open arms.
“Seeing our residents give back to the community makes all the worries of the world melt away”, says Deb.
“This is the reason we do what we do. It puts everything in perspective, and it gives our residents a purpose. They talk about it for days after each visit and then start planning and making things for the next one. It’s a magical experience and I’m so proud they let me be a part of it.”
Tweed River Care Community team and residents are also raising money by recycling cans and bottles, with all proceeds going to local animal shelters.Email Tweed River to support their fundraising
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