We launched SmartMeals back in March 2020, spurred on by a widespread need for food relief and employment support. With incredible community support and generosity SmartMeals has now run for 626 days, delivering 259,665 nutritious meals to local, at-risk communities, by partnering with and funding over 150 organisations across 6 states. SmartMeals has enabled this network of partners to not only to provide vulnerable people with food security, and deliver employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged workers, but to connect and collaborate with their local communities.
2021 – Supporting Social Enterprises
COVID -19 has impacted social enterprise food businesses hard, disrupting their business model and pushing some close to closure. That’s why, since February this year, our focus has been on using these food businesses to make SmartMeals. In 2021 $443,039 has been raised and distributed to our 25 social enterprise partners to provide employment and training for 89 disadvantaged individuals, and distribute 148,665 meals to locals experiencing hunger.
Our partners have highlighted the impact these grants have had in creating meaningful work during difficult times, and in connecting vulnerable people to localised support.
Hours of Employment and Training
“The job has given me independence, which is a huge plus. I’m able to do more things and get on top of bills. It’s my first stable job and I finally have stable accommodation for the first time in 10 years. Since I was 17 I have lived in more than 50 different shared accommodations. I really enjoy my work and love being part of such a great team.”
Dalton Pedley, Worker at Espresso Train Café, QLD
“It allowed the neurodiverse young people on our team to learn how to cater to a large number of people. The program helped employ 3 young people affected by Autism and ADHD, empowering them to take ownership over a project and be in charge of preparing, leading the staff, and storing the food.”
Mahira Sobral, Manager, Moon Rabbit Cafe, VIC
Meals Cooked for Food-Insecure Communities
”“SmartMeals recipients included school-age children with limited or inconsistent access to nutritious food at home, people experiencing homelessness, international students, recent migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, along with people facing LGBTQI-related marginalisation, and people living with mental health challenges or disabilities.”Joseph Lynch, Kinfolk, VIC
”“The partnership has been crucial for our communities. We partner with 13 organisations who deliver meals to those who are Indigenous, living with addiction, experiencing homelessness or seeking Asylum, and also those who are in social housing and Survivors of Domestic Violence. Thank you SmartMeals for recognising the circular nature of change needed in this world- we can't do it without you!”Shaun Christie-David, Plate It Forward, NSW
Empowering Community Collaborations
“This is a wonderful story of paying forward. Starting with donations to StreetSmart, who in turn, donate to House of Welcome, who in turn, employ asylum seekers to make SmartMeals for another charity, who in turn, distribute the end product to families in need. Tremendous power of gifting forward!”
Anne Moran, House of Welcome, NSW
“Every Wednesday we deliver 80-100 hot meals for Deadly Connections to distribute in RedFern and Waterloo. There are outcomes of this program on multiple levels, outside of just the number of meals and number of employed people, there’s beautiful community building also. It’s helped a lot of these people that we work with to connect with their local community and foster a sense of belonging and purpose.”
Ravi Prasad, Parliament on King, NSW
What’s Next For SmartMeals – 2022
The SmartMeals program was an emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis. It has continued to be vital, over a 20 month period, to so many. Food insecurity is still a major issue for millions of Australians and this is not an issue that will be resolved by current Government policies. Poverty, driven by inadequate welfare payments and a lack of affordable rental properties, is driving this on-going demand for support. Our charity partners have expressed the importance of the SmartMeals program continuing.
Help Us Keep Delivering
This December, we are raising funds to keep making meals and strengthening social enterprises to employ and train more vulnerable people. You can pay a meal forward for as little as $5, so head to our donate page this festive period.
Big thanks from StreetSmart Team.