what is free to feed?
free to feed is a hands-on training, mentoring and employment program run by social enterprise, free to. The free to feed program enhances employment opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees, who have exceptional cooking skills but are facing barriers to employment.
Before fleeing their homes, free to feed cooking instructors played important roles as cooks, chefs, restaurant owners and/or as feeders of their families and communities.
The free to feed program provides individualised training and mentoring to participants culminating in a unique employment opportunity: delivering cooking classes at the free to feed pop-up cooking school.
In our pop-up cooking school, ALL classes are run by people seeking asylum and refugees.
For most of our instructors, free to feed will be their very first job in Australia!
At each free to feed cooking class, you'll learn how to cook authentic, traditional dishes from your instructor’s home country. You also get to hear their incredible stories, as they relate their journeys and rich cultures to you.
Our gatherings are empowering and enriching experiences in which we get the opportunity to connect in an intimate setting with some of our most vulnerable, newly arrived community members. But perhaps the most beautiful part of joining a free to feed cooking class, is that you are saying “hey, you're welcome here; we recognise that you've got a lot to offer … we want to listen to you and learn from you”.
By buying a ticket to a free to feed class you are directly providing meaningful employment to asylum seekers & refugees, and supporting them to receive training, mentoring and be part of a supportive community – all benefits that come with being a free to feed instructor.
Our cooking classes are completely mobile; they can - and do - take place absolutely anywhere! Right now, we are popping up in cafés, restaurants and cooking schools around Melbourne. We can also pop up in your workplace, school or home.
Learn more about our cooking classes here.