Parish Stories: Hot Meals and Chats in a Tin Shed

Thursday 8 November 2018

Media and Communications Office
Tucked away in the mountains of Belgrave is an unassuming tin shed that hosts a regular night of hot meals and conversation for local people who are disadvantaged or homeless. To locals, it’s known as Tucker in the Tin Shed.

It was ten years ago when the social justice committee at Belgrave Parish adopted the long-running Belgrave institution. ‘Tucker in the Tin Shed had been operating for many years before the Social Justice team from Belgrave Parish got involved,’ says Belgrave Parish priest Fr Geoff Mcilroy.

‘But for the last ten years, the Belgrave Parish social justice team have been running it with assistance from other volunteer groups from Mater Christi Girls College, St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully and from St Thomas More's Church.’

Team member of three years Lou Laquinto stands at the stove cooking up a storm—Bolognese sauce in one pot and a mushroom and tomato in the other for one of the regulars who happens to be vegetarian. ‘It’s unpredictable, but we try to cook for 25 people,’ says Lou.

Another team member, John Shaw sets up the tea and coffee while engaging in a friendly chat with the evening’s first arrivals. ‘It’s good to help the local people as we don’t get much of an opportunity up in the hills to do something practical,’ said John. ‘We come along every second Tuesday night for anybody who wants a meal and a bit of a chat.’

The street community usually find out about Tucker in the Tin Shed by word of mouth, Fr Geoff explains, and by doing so it has attracted between 350 to 400 people every year.
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