Cafe owner believes in food for the soul as well as body

A 12-MONTH pilot program just launched by Nouvelle Cafe owner and chef Craig Foord feeds the most needy while providing a comforting social structure.

The Pay It Forward Cafe idea came to him after seeing how well a similar program called Pay it 

Forward, run by Ronald McDonald House Tamworth and Lifeline Northwest went during this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The idea of the original program was to do a kindness, for example, donate or grow food for others, have a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour or put a coin in a parking meter about to expire.

Now Ronald McDonald House Tamworth and Lifeline Northwest as well as The Salvation Army have teamed up with Nouvelle Cafe to provide meals for less fortunate members of the community. 

“I’d always wanted to do a soup kitchen, but we went this way because we were guaranteed it would provide assistance,” Mr Foord, 34, said.

Individuals are referred to Nouvelle Cafe at 164 Peel St, Tamworth by one of the three not-for-profit groups, who give the needy person a voucher.

The money for the program comes from donations to any of the groups and the cafe.

“We are looking for sponsors – any clubs, groups or individuals willing to donate on a regular basis,” Mr Foord said.

Ronald McDonald House Tamworth manager Chris Watson said with Christmas approaching, RMH was proud to launch the program.

“It’s a great way to help local families in a time of need – they can come into the cafe, present their voucher and receive a meal; it’s a fantastic initiative for the community,” he said. 

Lifeline Northwest chief executive officer Michael Ticehurst said a meal gave “a homeless person a sense of self-esteem and a sense of belonging as well”.

“It keeps them in the wellness category, not the illness category,” Mr Ticehurst said.

Tamworth deputy mayor Russell Webb, who launched the program, congratulated Mr Foord on his leadership and compassion, and urged the community to get behind the program.

“If the community lives by the principles of Pay It Forward, then it can only be a better place,” Cr Webb said.

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