We have officially launched the 19th year of DineSmart in Australia! From December 1st until December 31st over 60 venues across the country will be taking actions against homelessness, raising money together with their generous dinners. These are vital funds that StreetSmart will map and pool back into their communities, to support grassroots homeless organisations and services in their area.
The ones bringing DineSmart to your table …
We all know 2021 was quite a ride for everyone, and in particular for the small businesses that were affected by lockdowns having to shut their doors to the public for a long time. Considering DineSmart is a hospitality led campaign, we knew most of our partners were dealing with the challenges of having to adapt and rebuild from this pandemic. And later on, with the good news of the reopening and ease of restrictions in most cities, they also faced (and still do) the hospo staffing crisis.
That’s why we were quite humble and grateful to our hospitality peers, including our long-term partners and also new participants, that decided to get behind our fundraising campaign this December. This shows not only the social mindset and dedication of the industry, but also that the DineSmart event still holds firmly as part of their business and community.
“Even though the restaurant industry, hospitality and other industries have gone through a very difficult time this past 18, 20 months, we need to remember that there are people that are still in need,” said Alejandro Saravia when interviewed for Broadsheet’s article, and continued “Going through this pandemic has opened up a lot of people’s eyes to other issues in our communities and in society, and also brought people closer together. So restaurants should be a channel to help customers help initiatives like DineSmart to keep helping people more and more.”
Most restaurants are running the event in the traditional method, raising funds in-venue by encouraging their diners to donate $2 on top of their bill; but in some cases, donations are being collected through the booking journey, or even via their digital platforms when ordering online with Hungry Hungry or Mr Yum.
What your support means
StreetSmart has more than 800 community partners across the country, and this helps us assure that all funds raised through DineSmart are pooled back to support homeless charities in the same area to where they were raised. These smaller organisations provide vital frontline services, but struggle with a lack of resources. So thanks to our generous donors, we raise funds to support the development of innovative projects, and seek to address gaps in funding.
Due to the challenges everyone experienced during the past 20 months, all our community partners have seen and continue to see an increased demand for their services, with many people turning for help for their first time.
“Our Food Link meals program was launched in Greater Shepparton as a short-term crisis response when COVID struck in early 2020. But due to the level of hardship and long-term impact of COVID restrictions on our families, and others, in our community, we are still providing cooked meals to hundreds of people every month. Families who have never asked for help before, are now seeking support from local assistance agencies and it is clear food insecurity is not going to disappear anytime soon. The funds from the DineSmart campaign will ensure Food Link can keep delivering meals for people in need, so please support wherever you can,” – Cheryl Hammer, Greater Shepparton Foundation
Homelessness is complex, with each person having a different journey. Homelessness is often the end point to a series of life events, and therefore there are many levels/layers of vulnerability, with people and families needing to access different services. This may be access to food and meals, medical outreach, material aid, accomodation services, legal advice, or job training, as some examples. Through DineSmart, we can respond to the lack of funding our community partners are experiencing, and tackle homelessness by supporting a range of homeless projects.
Although we have been running this event for almost 20 years now, DineSmart 2021 is more important than ever as it brings you an easy opportunity to donate and give back to those in need in your local community, while also supporting the hospitality venue partners and their staff after a very tough year.
To get involved, you can find your local DineSmart venue or donate online here