Feast for Freedom

Wed 10th February, 2021 – Sun 28th March, 2021
Put on a spread for your mates and raise money for people seeking asylum. Learn to whip up some smokey baba ganoush, green falafel, baklava, kothu roti and a new dessert by Darren Purchese.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) Feast for Freedom event returns, and with it comes a new host of traditional recipes – including Palestinian and Sri Lankan – from asylum seekers in Australia.

The annual event raises funds for people seeking asylum, inviting Australians to hold fundraising feasts in their homes or workplaces, cooking recipes provided by refugees that celebrate the cuisines of their homelands. In 2019, its inaugural year, the event raised more than $100,000.

There are no rules for the dinner party; if nothing on the ASRC’s list takes your fancy, you can design your own menu or make the meal a cultural pot luck for your guests to bring their own traditional plates.

Foodbank volunteer Aheda and Tamil refugee Niro have shared traditional recipes from their home countries that people can access online and cook for the feasts. Aheda's recipes including smokey baba ganoush green falafel and baklava, while Niro draws from his Sri Lankan heritage for vegan dishes such as paruppi vadai, kothu roti and payasym.

Melbourne chef Darren Purchese from dessert store Burch and Purchese has also designed a new dessert based on Aheda's baklava, and the two are joining together for an online cooking class.

To host your own feast, register online. You’ll be sent a link to a fundraising page where your guests can RSVP. You’ll also receive a host kit with everything you need to set up your feast. There’s no admin involved – just cooking and eating.

The official feast weekend runs from Friday March 26 to Sunday March 28, but you can hold your own event anywhere, anytime between February and March.

All funds raised through Feast for Freedom go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, a not-for-profit that assists people seeking asylum with their food, housing and health-care needs, as well as providing advocacy, education and employment pathways. Its community meals program provides hot meals along with a sense of support for more than 200 people five days a week.

Raising $282 can help fund food, housing and healthcare for someone seeking asylum for a week; $470 is enough to help provide six months of medicine through the ASRC's health clinic; and $1000 can provide a vulnerable family with food and groceries for a year through ASRC's Foodbank.

More information here.