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Dining Hall

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Volunteer preparing food at Sacred Heart Mission's Dining Hall
Are you in need of immediate help? Get help now
Everyone is welcome to share a community meal and connect
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Our warm, welcoming Dining Hall is the heart of the Mission, where hundreds of people who are experiencing homelessness and social disadvantage come to share a community meal and engage with our services, 365 days a year. Everyone is welcome to drop in for a free meal today.

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Visit us

The Dining Hall provides:
  • Free meals daily
  • Trained support workers
  • Referrals to other services
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Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 10:30am for breakfast and from 11:30am to 1:00pm for lunch. On weekends, we provide a take-away meals service from 10am to 1pm.

Free daily meals

Our Meals Program provides free nutritious community meals every day of the year. Meals include an entrée, main meal, and dessert. A vegetarian option is available daily too.

Visiting the Dining Hall is the most brilliant thing I ever did. Good meals, friendly people. It was a safe place.
– Peter, Sacred Heart Community resident

Example menus

Menu 1

  • Pumpkin soup
  • Choice of either Spaghetti Bolognese, or Chickpea and Vegetable curry (Veg)
  • Fruit cup

Menu 2

  • Vegetable Soup
  • Choice of either Sausages, Mash and Vegetables, or Vegetarian Pasta Bake (Veg)
  • Biscuits

Meals service during the pandemic

From Monday to Friday, our Dining Hall is open for sit-down service from 8:30 to 10:30am for breakfast, and from 11:30am to 1:00pm for lunch.

Breakfast is provided in a take-away bag and can be eaten in the Dining Hall or taken away. During the week, a take-away lunch (for people who have not eaten in the Dining Hall) is available for 10-15 minutes from 1:05pm.

On weekends, the Dining Hall is closed for sit-down service; instead a take-away meal is provided from 10am to 1pm.

A meal is just the beginning …

Our Meals Program is far more than food relief. It also provides opportunities for people to reconnect to and develop a sense of community and belonging. Trained support workers are always present and ready to listen, talk and connect people with other Sacred Heart Mission services.

Watch our video to learn more:

View video transcript

Sacred Heart Mission’s Dining Hall, where a meal is just the beginning …

Our warm, welcoming Dining Hall in St Kilda is the heart of the Mission and where hundreds of people who are experiencing homelessness come every day of the year to share a meal. Hear from Head Chef Kirsty, Chef Robyn, Volunteer Simon and Case Manager Catherine, why the Meals Program is vital for our community:

Kirsty: At the Meals Program, it’s very important that we are providing a nutritious meal, but it’s not just about the meal. It’s also about trying to engage the people and to give them a sense of community. Donations are very important. Probably 90-95% of our food is produced through the donations from big and small businesses.

We do make over 400 meals a day. It’s very busy. It can get very hectic at times, but it’s also a lot of fun.

Simon: For me, it’s about realising how fortunate I actually am, and how unfortunate many of us are in the community. This is part of the community; it does a great service to the city of Melbourne and to the people in need.

Robyn: We make a difference in people’s lives. We’re including people that are often isolated. We welcome them to the Dining Hall. Everybody is welcome here.

Kirsty: We do this every day, 365 days a year.

Catherine: As a Case Worker, the environment of the Dining Hall is a place where you can engage with clients and may take many meals before they feel safe to start asking for help, but then you’re there and you can start providing a whole range of services that the Mission.

And that’s why it’s far more than just a meal.

Sustained by the community

It takes a professional kitchen staff of four and a team of more than 20 volunteers to prepare breakfast and lunch each day. Our valued volunteer pool is made up of individuals, community groups, school students, teachers and people from the corporate sector.

With limited funds, our work is supplemented by generous food donations from farmers, catering companies, local bakeries, cafes and restaurants and food rescue agencies. Over many years, Sacred Heart Mission has developed strong relationships with many food donors and we rely on a steady supply of stock.

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How we’ve supported our community

Meals Program Chef Kirsty with a takeaway meal
Our Impact

We served 169,417 free meals to our community in 2020-21.

Two Sacred Heart Mission Pathway Workers
Our Impact

2,267 times, our Pathways Workers provided support to people attending the Meals Program.

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