Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Partner Profile
 

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Inc. is Australia’s largest community-led, not-for-profit organisation providing advocacy, aid and health services for all people seeking asylum. 

 

Community Food Program
Jan 2019 - Dec 2020

You’ve just escaped death, fleeing your war-torn home country in search of safety for your family. After making it to Australia, you now risk homelessness and destitution, unable to work and with little help from the government. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many asylum seekers.

The Melbourne-based Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), provides support to those living in the community while their immigration status is being resolved. During this time, a large number of these people are forced to live below the poverty line, unable to work due to visa restrictions or personal circumstances. Put simply, many asylum seekers are facing destitution.

The ASRC deliver over 30 programs that aim to help improve the circumstances of asylum seekers in Australia. One of these is the Community Food Program, which we’re helping to fund. It offers the following services: 

Foodbank

Foodbank is in effect a free supermarket, providing weekly groceries for asylum seekers. The majority of the items are donated by the community. People can shop for items using a points system according to their family size and the nutritional value of the items. Up to 700 people use the service weekly to stock up on food and household essentials – 54% of those are children.* Although the Foodbank is now part of the broader Community Food Program, we also supported this as a stand-alone service from August 2016 – July 2018. 

Community Meals

Five days a week, people seeking asylum can sit down and enjoy a free, nutritious meal together. The ASRC delivers up to 235 meals per day.* For many, the community meal is their only hot meal for the day.

All areas of the program are staffed largely by volunteers. Some of the volunteers are seeking asylum themselves and this allows them to gain invaluable work experience in a cross-cultural setting. 

 

Our Community Program funding will allow these worthwhile services to continue expanding, meaning even more asylum seekers can access good food, leading to improved emotional, social and nutritional wellbeing.

Volunteering in the Community Meals Program 

Kamla was supported by the ASRC in the past so understands what these vulnerable people are experiencing and how important this program is to them. She has been volunteering in the ASRC Community Meals Program for almost two years, where her beaming smile lights up the kitchen several times a week. “I feel good, helping other people, people like my food,” Kamla says.

We have also supported the following ASRC projects:
Mentoring program (Aug 2016 - Jul 2018)
Member Volunteer program (Aug 2016 - Jul 2018)
Foodbank (Aug 2016 - Jul 2018)

*Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Grant Interim Update Report, August 2019.

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