Welcome to Vinnies Victoria’s Good Feeds – a recipe resource for people living with food instability.
The dishes are suggested by restaurant chef Tracey*, who lost her job due to the pandemic. Vinnies has been assisting her with food vouchers, hampers, car repairs and other support. Now she wants to help others by arming people with her best budget recipe ideas and insights into her own experience.
These recipes can be used in conjunction with one of Vinnies’ Soup Van weekly hampers, a Vinnies’ $50 supermarket voucher or by anyone who wants to watch their own grocery budget. $50 or less is what many families experiencing food distress have to spend each week.
ACOSS statistics show that access to nutritional food is one of the areas most impacted by poverty and that 75% of people in food distress regularly skip meals.
Due to the pandemic, Vinnies Victoria is assisting a significant number of people who have never called on us before. Demand on our Soup Van Service has increased 25% in recent months. Like Tracey, nearly 200,000 have lost their jobs in Victoria during the crisis. Of the calls we have received to the Vinnies’ Welfare Assistance line since the pandemic began – 64% are to request assistance with food.
American-born chef Tracey* has been living in Australia for almost a decade. She moved here to marry an Australian, but left him due to domestic violence. Tracey had been living interstate but thought a new start in the “foodie capital of Australia” would be good for her so she moved to Melbourne in January.
Tracey found work setting up a new restaurant, but the project quickly unravelled when Covid-19 hit and she was left with no job and owed several weeks’ pay. Tracey found herself destitute and homeless for the first time ever – living out of her car at the back of the abandoned restaurant. That lasted for three weeks before she found accommodation. Tracey has had a permanent residency application in process for two years and while she is on a bridging visa is not eligible for benefits.
Read more of Tracey’s powerful insights into food poverty in our Good Feeds Story. Click below.
*Tracey’s name has been changed and an iStock image has been used to protect her identity.