The annual Sydney and Parramatta Street Feast usually attracts a wonderful crowd, marking Pope Francis’ World Day of the Poor.

With the disruption of COVID-19 lockdowns, organisers had to think of a new approach.

So, it was decided if the disadvantaged couldn’t come to a feast, then the food would be delivered to them.

General Manager Paul Borghetti and Senior Café Manager Bryn Tustin all smiles ahead of a delivery run. Photo: Sean O’Sullivan

PAYCE Foundation social enterprise Kick Start played a pivotal role in the on-ground logistical effort, delivering 550 care packages to Sydney’s most marginalised.

General Manager Paul Borghetti, Program and Impact Manager Reyna Flynn and Senior Café Manager Bryn Tustin delivered 500 plus hampers to vendors all over greater Sydney and metropolitan areas.

Paul said it was a great collaboration with planning commencing weeks in advance.

“Once we identified what we wanted to include in the hampers, we had a look at what we could go out and purchase ourselves,” he said.

“Hampers included a variety of goods including personal care items, non-perishable food products and chocolate gift bags.

“Paula Nicolas from St Merkorious was wonderful in sourcing one third of all products through various donations, so that was really helpful in the weeks leading up.”

For Paul, the most rewarding of the deliveries was to David’s Place, an inner-city community space for Sydney’s homeless and marginalised to gather for social connection.

“It’s very humbling to see the people we’re helping firsthand and was amazing to see community gatherings resume once again,” he said.

“I ended up staying for a while to chat and spend some time with those at David’s Place, everyone was really lovely and appreciative of the hampers.

“Even one of the older gentlemen used all his energy to help me unload the car.

“It really is a great time of year; Street Feast is one of those events we’ve obviously done a few times in different ways now but it’s always a rewarding experience.”

Throughout a significant part of last year and for this year’s four-month lockdown, Kick Start ran a seven-day meal delivery service to assist those left isolated and vulnerable.

“We’ve had a lot of practice packing bags and delivering meals”, Paul added.

“After our experience over the last couple of years coordinating the meal share program, we knew what needed to be done and got on with the job.”

It was an impressive effort from the whole team pulling together, obviously not just the Kick Start trainees but the management team as well.”