Experience The Food And Culture Of Melbourne’s Migrant Community At Free To Feed In North Fitzroy

By Amy Kayman
11th Jun 2021

The exterior entrance to Free To Feed with brown tiling and a pink sign.

Free to Feed has found a new home in the heart of Fitzroy North. This inspirational non-for-profit has relocated to a stunning, heritage-listed art deco space on Queens Parade. 
Equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen, a light-filled dining area and a historically rich ballroom perfect for showcasing the incredible work and skills and stories of its community.

This upgrade is a big step for Free to Feed, who until recently operated from a humble little kitchen in Northcote. The organisation is dedicated to helping refugees and asylum seekers start their life in Australia. Since its conception in 2015, the company has provided over 21,800 hours of paid training for refugees, and those seeking to call Australia home. But it’s not just about providing jobs—Free to Feed is all about bringing their team’s culture to the forefront, and giving us an opportunity to learn about their heritage and homeland, fostering a shared understanding and community over food. They run one-of-a-kind immersive cooking experiences, where refugees share stories about their lives while teaching you how to make authentic and delicious food. 

In the heart of lockdown, Free to Feed is opening up their ‘New Neighbourhood Winter Window’, providing family-sized precooked meals designed and prepared by their dedicated staff. These include Shayama’s Sri Lankan chicken curry, and Teyebeh’s Persian potato and spinach soup— a perfect accompaniment to a cold winter's night. They’re also serving hot takeaway meals if you’re passing by and want something yummy and quick. Post-lockdown, they’ll be using this amazing new space to host intimate cooking events with a new group of instructors from all over the world, and curating their famous grazing tables stacked with nourishing food for any event. 

Co-Founder and CEO Loretta Bolotin’s passion for diversity and inclusion led her to create an organisation dedicated to championing new migrants, and the unique skills and stories they offer. On the Fitzroy opening, she says “this is a bit of a coming of age moment for us. We’re so excited and we can’t wait to host beautiful events and celebrations for people and organisations all over Melbourne all while changing the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum in our community,” said Loretta. 

Free To Feed is an ideal choice for functions, authentic cuisine, and the opportunity to learn more about Melbourne’s new residents and the incredible food and culture they’ve brought with them. 
The organisation is still transitioning from its former operation in Northcote but is expected to be running at full speed in the next couple of months. Keep an eye out here for more details

Check out more movements in Melbourne's hospitality scene here.

Image credit: supplied 

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