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DineSmart Powers COVID-19 Response Grants

By April 7, 2020June 19th, 2020DineSmart, News, StreetSmart News

“I truly believe this grant will be lifesaving…”
Peter Valpiani, The Haymarket Foundation

It seems an entire lifetime ago but back in December and before the January bushfire crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, just over 100 restaurants around Australia teamed up with their customers to raise funds for local homeless services. This was our 17th DineSmart campaign and our dedicated band of restaurateurs and their staff drove the event – chatting with customers and advocating for a world without homelessness. Little did they know what lay ahead for them and their businesses, and just how important these funds would be for frontline services dealing with a crisis the likes we haven’t seen in a generation.

Last week 33 community grants worth $191,150, funded by DineSmart 2019 donations, were distributed in VIC, NSW, QLD and SA.

Fast Tracked…

Our community grants are aimed at empowering smaller grassroots organisations. We help plug funding gaps, support core programs and enable them to innovate and test new ideas. Once we were aware of the looming health crisis we quickly worked to fast track the grants to support a response. We reached out to our community partners to find out what they needed to prepare. Overwhelmingly they needed cash to help, accommodate, cloth, feed, protect and care for vulnerable clients, while purchasing practical supplies for the oncoming increases in demand for services. So organisations were identified and grants were fast tracked…

“Your ability to fast track the grant will certainly make a difference to our organisation and to others like us who are delivering front line services. We really appreciate your generous support during this health crisis!” Margaret Yuille, Micah Project Brisbane

“Huge thank you for the support of StreetSmart, you guys are awesome and have made a huge difference to the provision of our program. It is a crazy time so I appreciate that you were able to get the funds out to us so rapidly. Our resources are going to be challenged in the coming months so this funding will be a great help.” Georgia Hourne, Western Port Community Support

“…the first of the brokerage payments from the StreetSmart COVID-19 emergency fund were made last Friday 3rd April. The first two payments were to help two teenage girls (16 & 17yo) exit homelessness and move into a share house (via a girls refuge). Both had also lost casual jobs because of COVID…” Peter Valpiani, The Haymarket Foundation, Sydney

SmartMeals –
As part of this grants round we moved quickly to respond to the looming food security crisis funding both FareShare and Two Good. We also set up a pilot program to both meet local demand for meals for vulnerable people and secure hospitality jobs at some of our restaurant partners. More news to follow on the SmartMeals program in the coming weeks.Here’s the breakdown for each participating State, and links to all grant recipients by state. Click on the State name to see a full listing.

Lead Grants –
Nine Lead Grants were funded and two received matched funding through the Australian Community Foundation from Unico Community Foundation. Additional matched funding was provided by The Sunshine Foundation for additional four projects. Read more here.

Community Grants April 2020
State Number of Grants Value of Grants
VICTORIA 22 $140,650
TOTAL 33 $191,150



DineSmart Champs…
None of this would be possible without our restaurant partners and generous donors at those restaurants. To find out more about our Fundraising Champions – read this blog

And a massive thank you…
To all our restaurant owners, staff and generous customers, and to major supporters: John Hunt and Sunshine Foundation, Adam Migrom and Tripple, Bluesand Foundation and Jack and Ethel Goldin Foundation, as well as our official sponsor for DineSmart 2019 Open Table and the media support of Broadsheet. We just wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you.

Thank you all and please help us by sharing this post…

P.S. This now takes our total funds distributed to $6,267,266, supporting 644 organisations.