Culture

Neil Perry relaunches Hope Hospitality Foundation

The food outreach charity returns with gusto, and next year will open a public-facing shop where city workers can pick up convenient lunches

Photo: Steven Woodburn

Steven Woodburn

Neil Perry is keeping the momentum of a good thing going, relaunching the Hope Hospitality Foundation. “We’re refocusing what we’re doing – coming out of the pandemic, we didn’t want to forget about all the good work we had done,” says Perry. Formerly known as Hope Delivery, the relaunched charity harnesses what the hospitality industry does best – cooking, welcoming, serving and connecting – by creating free meals for people in vulnerable situations.

Along with a kitchen preparing meals in Sydney’s Piccadilly Arcade, in 2023 the team will open a public-facing shop, where city workers can pick up convenient lunches. The profits from these on-the-go lunches will go towards creating even more meals for vulnerable people. “That’s what we do well in hospitality. We know we can make a more delicious, really efficient, nutritious meal,” says Perry. “Often there will be charities that will try and add a kitchen on; but we’re starting in the kitchen, and really doing what’s core to our DNA.”

The meals are created by volunteers, which everyday people can get involved with, regardless of their skills or experience. “It’s our amazing brigade of volunteers that allows us to feed people,” says Perry. In the kitchen you may find teams prepping braised zucchini and chilli rigatoni pasta; a warming chilli con carne; or a lovely dhal. All hearty nutritious, easy-to-transport options, which are created with rescued produce with help from Qube Logistics and Woolworths.

Hope Hospitality Foundation meal;

(Photo: Steven Woodburn)

“We’re rescuing food that would typically go to landfill, and that allows us to extend our reach,” says Perry. Alongside volunteering, the charity also runs off donations, which can be given directly, or added to the bill when dining at Margaret, Baker Bleu, or at Perry’s new wine bar Next Door. “They’re receiving beautiful hospitality, and they can then pay that hospitality forward,” says Perry.

At the moment Hope Hospitality Foundation is partnering with other charities like OzHarvest to get the meals to the people that need them the most. “I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel and put vans on the road. Ronni [Kahn] already has a great network of vans,” say Perry.

“It doesn’t matter how many meals we produce, there’s always going to be a home for them.” Currently Hope is doing around 5000 meals a week, and are hoping to increase to 10,000 meals a week in the near future.

As Christmas rounds out the year, Perry encourages people to think beyond their own table and pay it forward. “Go on the website and give $10; that [will] feed five people,” says Perry. “It’s one thing to have a beautiful spread for your own family, but to provide for others is really something.”

hopehospitalityfoundation.org.au

Hope Hospitality Foundation volunteers;

(Photo: Steven Woodburn)

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