Two of Jyothsna D'Souza's biggest passions are cooking and charity and the Marsden Park resident was able to combine the two by submitting a much-loved family recipe to the Your Community Pantry online cookbook.
The initiative, by property developer Stockland, had residents of its Elara community in Marsden Park - as well as other Stockland communities around NSW - submit family recipes for the cookbook.
Stockland donated $60 to Foodbank Australia for every recipe, raising $4,100 to provide 8,200 meals to vulnerable communities in NSW.
Ms D'Souza said she and her husband Branford Coutinha had always found happiness in performing small charitable deeds and when she saw the cookbook initiative shared on the Stockland Facebook page, she jumped at the chance to share one of her family's favourite dishes.
"I love cooking, it's my stress buster and trying out new recipes is one of my hobbies and one of my many passions," Ms D'Souza said.
"Initially it was my passion for cooking that made me consider donating a recipe but then it was the charitable element that made me want to do something for my community."
Ms D'Souza's recipe is Crab Pepper Fry - a recipe with a special family connection.
"It's full of rich spices and flavours. I grew up in India eating a variety of seafood because my family had a small fishing business. Seafood was a delicacy," Ms D'Souza said.
This recipe was special to me because I learnt it from my grandmother. She used to give complete dedication when she was cooking, and this recipe was easy and quick to prepare.Jyothsna D'Souza, Marsden Park resident
"This recipe was special to me because I learnt it from my grandmother. She used to give complete dedication when she was cooking, and this recipe was easy and quick to prepare.
"My husband treasures my cooking and he loves this recipe."
Ms D'Souza is a registered nurse and worked on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between the pandemic and the floods, more people than ever are using the services of Foodbank.
Ian Laing, GM of Strategic Partnerships from Foodbank said: "We're delighted to be partnering with Stockland to release Your Community Pantry.
"Despite our efforts, our research shows that demand for food relief in NSW is increasing and the food we supply is not enough to tackle the issue of food insecurity in Australia. That's why we are so thankful and fortunate to partner with organisations like Stockland, who are committed to joining the fight against hunger and are helping increase access to healthy food for the people of NSW."
The cookbook was launched at Elara recently and celebrity chef Miguel Maestre hosted an outdoor cooking class with residents - including Ms D'Souza, who had her book signed - to celebrate and share their love of food.
Mike Milligan, Project Director at Stockland said:"I hope that Your Community Pantry and Stockland's partnership with Foodbank Australia inspires people to connect, and what better way to do that, than through a shared passion for food."
View the cookbook online at https://bit.ly/3Ih6xPQ