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Free lunches in Knox, with grants closing soon

Orana Neighbourhood House in Wantirna is bringing people together through sharing food after receiving a Council Community Development Fund grant to host free community lunches.

This year’s fund is now open and accepting applications until 6 May. Community groups and not-for-profit organisations can apply now for grants of up to $20,000.

Orana Manager Emily Harnett says food is a wonderful way for people to connect and find out more about what’s on offer at their local neighbourhood house.

"This connection is so important to reduce the impact of loneliness and social isolation," she says. "The lunches will provide an opportunity for people to establish social connections as well as connecting to the House and the various learning, health and wellbeing programs and social opportunities we offer.”

Orana is part of the Knox Learning Alliance, a partnership of five local community and neighbourhood houses supported by Council.

“Neighbourhood houses are really special places of connection for community,” Emily says. “These lunches will help connect people to the wider things that Orana has to offer, such as English conversation classes, support groups and yoga classes. Connecting through food makes it a little bit less daunting walking into a room of people you don’t know. We’re trying to take the edge off the nervousness.”

Over the past five years, Council has supported 297 initiatives and provided more than $1.8 million in funding through the annual Community Development Fund.

If you’re part of a community group or organisation with an idea that meets a community need and benefits residents in Knox, this year it could be you.

Find out more and apply now at

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