The gift from the Masonic Charities will allow Melaleuca to purchase food trucks to promote social and cultural connections between residents while providing newly settled individuals with economic opportunity
Food has a powerful way of bonding people together and giving them a way to share their culture. With this in mind, one charitable organisation is centring its community work around the power of food by connecting people and giving new migrants a way to access economic opportunity through a $75,000 grant awarded by the Masonic Charities.
Melaleuca Refugee Centre is the recipient of the grant and is looking to put it to use to continue to support its efforts in providing holistic services for refugees, humanitarian entrants and migrants in the Northern Territory. The organisation has aided people of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds (CALD) for almost 25 years, delivering services to help them feel welcomed to their new home and successfully transition to their new lives in the Northern Territory.
One tenet of Melaleuca’s current strategic plan, the Eat Takes a Village initiative, is to provide employment opportunities for its clients in the food service and preparation sectors while simultaneously introducing residents of the Darwin region to culturally diverse foods. With this goal in mind, the group requested funding to allow them to introduce three food vans into the Darwin region over the next three years.
“The Freemasons believe in investing in and making all people of South Australia and the Northern Territory feel welcome and supported,” said Masonic Charities Trust Chairman, John Behenna. “Melaleuca’s Eat Takes a Village program is an innovative approach to expanding opportunity and cultural understanding across the Northern Territory, and we are pleased to help them continue their important work in helping new residents of the region feel welcomed, share their cultural heritage with others and foster understanding between new and existing residents.”
The Melaleuca team hopes that its Eat Takes a Village program will lead to greater inclusion and more instances of the community working together as one by embracing cultural diversity.
“We are grateful for the support of the Masonic Charities as we continue to serve our clients from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities,” said Kwame Selormey, CEO of Melaleuca.
“These funds will help us further our work of helping our clients gain meaningful employment while allowing them to share their cultural heritage with other Northern Territory residents through food, thus fostering curiosity, acceptance and empathy between our clients and current residents of the Darwin area.”