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Pastors Meli and Evelyn Tamanisau   lead PAL workers in to  in cooking and giving out food. They said that the number of people coming for meals has grown.

Pastors Meli and Evelyn Tamanisau lead Fijian PALM workers in cooking meals for people who can’t afford food.(ABC News: Doug Dingwall)









The pastors started cooking meals before the COVID pandemic, when Mr Tamanisau was working at Sun Pork, and the company had extra stocks of meat.

“He got an idea, ‘Why don’t we just cook it and bring it to the homeless?'” Mrs Tamanisau said.

They first began giving cooked meals to people sleeping rough in the city.

Mr Tamanisau knew the PALM workers from church and they started to help him cook.

Pastor Meli Tamanisau says he is inspired by his Fijian culture of sharing.(ABC News: Doug Dingwall)









Earlier, they prepared between 50 and 70 meals. Nowadays, they give out 200.

Mrs. Tamanisau said that people would already be lining up when they  got to the park knowing that they’d be distributing food.

Most people get two packs of food, a chicken stir fry and a pork curry, prepared by the PALM workers.

“It is my passion. I grew up back home in Fiji, in my family, what we have is for the people,” Mr Tamanisau said.

The food is donated  by Sun Pork and Hands and Feet and is spread out in pots and containers around the kitchen.

The PALM workers cook donated food ingredients including vegetables, pork and chicken. (ABC News: Doug Dingwall)









There are about 10 kilograms of rice, 50 kilograms of pork and 50 kilograms of chicken.

Other ingredients are ones often used in Fiji and Asian countries like the Philippines — where Mrs Tamanisau grew up — including curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper, fresh coriander, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and onions.

The pastors give the PALM workers meat and vegetables to take home, so they can save and send more income to their families.

“It’s a big factor for their shopping every week that helps them through the everyday living expenses,” Ms Tamanisau said.


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