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This Sydney Restaurant Is Serving Up Free Meals To Those In Need During COVID, My Heart Is Full

LOVE THIS.

Sydney is certainly no stranger to good food, small bars or diversity in palette. But naturally during COVID, a lot of hospitality businesses have struggled – big time. But Colombo Social, a Sri Lankan restaurant based in the inner western suburb of Enmore, has turned a challenge into an opportunity.

As a consequence of COVID, many stories of need and vulnerability came up at the restaurant, not only from the employees but those community members already living on the poverty line. So, the folks at Colombo Social closed their doors but repurposed its large commercial kitchen, experienced staff, and ongoing food donations from existing suppliers to feed Sydney’s most vulnerable community members. HOW GOOD!

Since the start of COVID and along with some partners, the social enterprise gone not-for-profit have been running their #plateitforward campaign. Basically, the campaign aims to serve the needs of the most at risk right now – and that means putting food on the plate for those that COVID has hit the hardest.

They partnered up with charities Mission Australia and Settlement Services International, who work closely with the venue to advise them on who needs help the most at the moment.

This project kickstarted a few months ago and get this, they’ve already donated over 31,000 meals (!!!) to those identified as the most at risk which includes the Elderly Aboriginal community in Redfern, those in social housing in Camperdown, asylum seekers across Sydney.

How fucking good is that??? We’re talking a business in an industry that has been decimated already, yet they’re still trying to help people. It’s honestly so refreshing, during a pandemic that hasn’t always brought out the best in us.

Not only that, but they train and employ vulnerable people to help make the meals – so it’s truly a win win in all senses.

And the beautiful thing is you can help them, even if you can only afford a few dollars. You can donate as much as you want, because honestly any donation is a good one.

Donate $3 and you buy one meal for someone, $15 buys five meals and $150 gets 50 meals – quick maths.

The donations ultimately help provide immediate relief, it gives training and employment opportunities – while also providing a sense of community during this shitty time. And we can all get behind that.

The restaurant has always provided employment, training, and support to people seeking asylum in Australia, including a one-on-one training program set up for asylum seekers. It’s a bloody great initiative, on top of all the work they’re currently doing with #plateitforward.

You love to see it.

Colombo Social is coordinating the #PlateItForward meal provision and delivery with approximately thirty other not-for-profits, social enterprises, and community groups. The organisations have a broad geographical and social reach and include neighbourhood aid centres, women’s shelters, and organisations aiding elderly people and people living with disabilities. Click here to donate.

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