Right at the beginning of Volunteer Week, a range of Ballarat organisations united to present a stunning banquet and raise money to help the hungry.
With live music and plenty of Aperol spritzers flowing, the St Patrick's Cathedral hall was turned into an Italian piazza for the night - but interestingly, each meal at this dinner only cost about $2.50.
Plate Up Ballarat's Food for Thought II: Little Italy was a partnership with the Ballarat Foundation.
It used rescued food - that is, food that would have otherwise been thrown out, like weirdly shaped vegetables or processed items a day beyond the best before date - to produce a huge feast.
The other aim, according to Ballarat Foundation's fundraising coordinator Margo Pettit, was to bring back a joy of cooking for people.
Workers from the Mars Wrigley factory were encouraged to donate their time as part of a volunteering initiative, and as well as helping out at the Salvation Army, they also helped make the gnocchi served at the dinner.
Students from Ballarat Neighbourhood House's cooking classes also contributed appetisers.
Ms Pettit said sharing the cooking of a meal, and then enjoying it with others, was a key part of encouraging healthy eating habits.
"They're the things that are so important, and they're the things we're losing, and it's such a shame," she said.
"Takeaway can be the same price - let's get back to the basics and learn how to cook nutritious food."
The money raised will go towards the Ballarat Foodbank, providing access to food for those less fortunate.
"It's a real point to say it's the tip of the iceberg as far as the food issue," Ms Pettit said.
"Everyone has a basic right to nutritious food, and at Foodbank we can start helping agencies deliver."
She's also hoping the corporate partnerships will lead to more good work being done around town.
Mars Ballarat plant director Stuart McKay agreed.
"Volunteering in the community is one of the many ways that we bring our purpose to life," he said.