It’s social, it’s enterprising, and it’s just right for a place that’s many things to many people. Just Bites social enterprise kiosk is now open at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre.
Just Bites is a partnership between Carringbush Adult Education Centre and Belgium Avenue Neighbourhood House, and the kiosk staffed by members of the City of Yarra community.
At the recent launch Margaret Corrigan, Carringbush CEO said her organisation was delighted to be part of the NJC’s model of community collaboration.
The BAHN team will manage the kiosk, provide barista services, and prepare menus that span continents in flavours and influences. One chef brings her love of her homeland’s cooking to the NJC.
Fatuma Muhudin is from Somalia. She’s studying English at NMIT, and as a member of the Collingwood Somali Community Association she’s joined Just Bites to ‘help and support my community’.
Carringbush trainees Sudanese born Achol, who has been in Australia three years, and Indonesian born Maria will use their year-long placement to hone their food handling, hospitality and customers service, which alongside English language studies, will gear them up for the job market.
As with everything the NJC does, the idea behind the venture is to improve lives and the justice process.
It’s hard to participate in the justice process on an empty stomach.
As Rachel Powning, NJC’s General Manager said, “A hot meal can be the difference between sleep-walking through your hearing or having the energy to absorb what’s happening."
The Centre is also a base for the Yarra community for a raft of activities not connected to court.
“We’re renowned for being a place of welcome. Just Bites is an extension of the respect and care we extend to our neighbours,” said Rachel Powning.
Just Bites is a remodeled incarnation of NJC’s popular Just Delights kiosk which ran for many years.
As Magistrate David Fanning said of a humble kiosk serving sustenance for body and soul, “it breathes life back on the court floor.”