Since March 2020, the Smartmeals program has delivered 161,652 ready-made meals to vulnerable people in Australia – including those experiencing domestic violence, financial stress and insecure housing. Set up by Streetsmart Australia in response to the Covid-19 lockdown, the initiative works with social-enterprise cafes to deliver nutritious meals to those in need.
It means social enterprises like Espresso Train and Darcy Street Project can continue to train and upskill their staff, who often come from marginalised communities themselves, or are experiencing other barriers to employment. Geoff Hills from Streetsmart says the program has doubled its impact by partnering with more than 70 charities. “It is food made by and for vulnerable people,” he says.
Streetsmart is now seeking donations as part of its Winter Appeal to keep the charity operating during the colder months. You can make one-off donations or monthly commitments, including custom amounts, all of which are tax deductible above $2.
Diamond Rozakeas from community farm Common Ground Project – one of the not-for-profits partnered with Streetsmart – says, “This initiative supports more than just meals for the needy. It provides employment for the women [at the farm], engages them socially and instils in them a greater sense of self-worth and value”.