Emma Dehnen, Volunteer Fundraiser, Food Within Ltd

Emma Dehnen

When Emma Dehnen endured some personal hardship, she turned to a local not-for-profit company for help.‘Food Within Ltd provided the opportunity for Emma to work on a bartering project where, in exchange for her efforts in the community, she would be provided with affordable, healthy food for her family. This experience led Emma to become an ongoing volunteer, dedicated to helping those less fortunate.

Food Within Ltd was founded on the premise that fresh food should be made available to people on low incomes. The organisation sources fruit, vegetables, meat and pantry items at wholesale prices.

Families are able to pay what they can afford for healthy food, and donate their time to help cover the remaining cost. The organisation also delivers basic budgeting and other classes to help people improve their personal situations.

Emma, a resident of Riverstone, took to the program with enthusiasm and found within herself the desire to help others who are less fortunate – so she began volunteering her time to fundraising efforts for Food Within Ltd. Emma also took on the role of welcoming guests to the organisation’s Lethbridge Park community centre, to make them feel comfortable.

Noticing that many families did not know how to prepare healthy meals for their families, Emma began working with Food Within Ltd to establish basic cooking classes. Often, the classes involved taking the guests’ recipes and teaching them how to cook the same meal in a healthier way.

Emma has also helped to establish the organisation’s lunchbox initiative, to provide people with healthy meals while they are at work. Her volunteering role can also constantly evolve, depending on what is required – with Emma also stepping in to run BBQs or take on administrative work.

In her nomination for the Women of the West Award, Alicia Martin, the founder of Food Within Ltd, describes Emma as an important part of the organisation, who is helping to change food from a luxury item back to the necessity that it should be. Alicia says Emma has commenced a Community Service Certificate IV, which further demonstrates her commitment to assisting the local community.

Jess Morgan, Manager of the Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre, has also supported Emma’s nomination on the basis of her volunteer work at the centre.
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