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DineSmart

Dine Out, Discover, Do Good: A DineSmart Guide to West Melbourne

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One of the things we love about DineSmart is it is a wonderful excuse to explore and fall in love with new restaurants while doing some good.  This year, we have an exciting bunch of venues in Melbourne’s inner west  – and the ultimate guide dining out while supporting local projects that tackle homelessness.

The Bad Love Club is a new kid on the block, and wife and husband team Sarah Ryan and Damien Shaw decided to open in Footscray where Damien grew up. “We have lots of regulars, but we’d also like to see Footscray become somewhere people come to eat and drink. There are lots of great spots – and we all support each other.” The Bad Love Club is your go-to for early morning and after dinner fixes. By morning they serve up Sensory Lab coffee, jaffles and bagels, and by night they do “boozy bakery” treats that pair house baked goods with delicious dessert cocktails.

For a fresh produce inspired lunch head over to Small Graces, a classy but cosy spot opposite the old Little Saigon Market. Owner’s, Diego Portilla and Rebecca Howell are committed to using local, ethically sourced ingredients and produce and are bringing their passion for local impact to DineSmart. “We were looking for ways that we could support community initiatives, and then we found DineSmart.” Vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free will find a variety of options as well as well rounded dishes for the carnivorous.

For some relaxed dining and drinks, head down the road to The Creators Lounge, offering beer, bands, a barbershop and an American diner-inspired menu. The spacious venue offers a relaxed atmosphere to try local brews, and indulge in some loaded fries, burgers, and classic American sandwiches. If you’re feeling the 5 o’clock shadow, pop into the barbers for a quick shave!

La Tortilleria was one of the first restaurants to bring authentic Mexican to Melbourne, and are joining DineSmart for the first time this year. They have already proven themselves to be fundraising heavyweights – recently raising over $20k to support Mexican Earthquake victims. La Tortilleria specialises in in-house real tortillas, and no-frills street inspired Mexican. Enjoy tacos with a chilled sangria in the colourful outdoor dining area.

StreetSmart Supported Projects in the West: Flat Out, Melbourne City Mission, Footscray Community Legal Centre, Second Bite, Multicultural Sudanese Centre, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. We also support domestic violence shelters and indigenous women’s groups.

Where to Go: Bad Love Club, Small Graces, The Creators Lounge, La Tortilleria

How to get there by Public Transport: Sunbury, Werribee and Williamstown for Footscray, and Upfield or 57 tram to Kensington.

Looking for something a little closer to home? Check out the full listing of participating restaurants over here.

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Dine Out and Help Someone Sleeping Out this Festive Season

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DineSmart is our longest running campaign, we are more determined than ever to raise much-needed funds for local homelessness services. The backdrop to this year’s campaign is a rising homelessness crisis, and a critical funding shortage in the homelessness sector. 

DineSmart runs in close partnership with some of Australia’s best restaurants, beautiful regional estates, and tiny little eateries that know every customer by name. What they share in common, is a love for their local area.

Restaurants and cafes are part of their local community. The regulars, the passers-by, nine-to-fivers, and those experiencing homelessness all come into contact with local eateries. As the homelessness crisis has seen a rise in people who are sleeping rough, many of those affected seek shelter around busy restaurant hubs.

“We’re based in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, and we have seen a real rise in the number of people sleeping rough right on our doorstep. It is easy to feel powerless, but our work with StreetSmart is such an important and tangible way to make a difference.” – DineSmart Ambassador, Nick Peters of Mamasita and Hotel Jesus

 

Nick Peters, Mamasita and Hotel Jesus

 

And the funds DineSmart venues raise really do make a difference.

Andrew Grinter owns Pizza D’oh in Blairgowrie. Since 2007 Andrew, his staff and generous customers have raised over $35,000. Every dollar has helped to fund vital local projects including the Southern Peninsula Community Centre’s Emergency Relief Fund.

The Emergency Relief Fund has helped people like Susan and her three kids who were found to be sleeping in their car after escaping family violence. With the support of funds raised by Pizza D’oh, Susan’s and her family were supported into housing, and the kids settled into a new school.

Funding for emergency relief has been slashed from the federal budget over successive years, which has left services unable to support people when they need it. While governments are busy dismantling the social safety net, people like Susan and her family too easily fall through the gaps. The fundraising efforts of DineSmart restaurants and customers provides a lifeline to services who are struggling to support people.

“We have been taking part in DineSmart since 2006. We think it is important for business to give back to the community – so raising funds to support local services that are out there doing the hard work was a simple decision for us. It is such a simple way to effect meaningful change in people’s lives. ” DineSmart Ambassador, Sam Christie of Longrain.

 

DineSmart will run at participating restaurants for the 15th year between 24th Nov – 24th Dec. If you would like your restaurant to be involved click here, or drop Sharna a line here. Diners contribute by choosing a DineSmart restaurant and leaving their donation on their bill.

 

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StreetSmart Community Grants fund 78 Projects

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WIPAN 2016The smiles of the WIPAN team show just what it means to receive a StreetSmart grant.
StreetSmart exists to help fund grassroots homeless services, providing vital funds to the front line of the fight against homelessness. So, it’s a great feeling when we get to distribute the funds we have raised with your support – this is what all the hard work is about – real impact on the ground. With Government funding in many areas being cut, especially in the emergency aid budget, these small grants become vital to the projects we fund.
Last week emails went out to 78 projects, across five States, all of which will be funded from the proceeds of DineSmart 2015 and our online fundraising.
Here is what some of the recipients said on hearing they would receive a small StreetSmart community grant…
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DineSmart diners chip in $2’s to raise $264,096

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160200_SSA_2015 Dinesmart results - Nav squares - FINALIn the mad rush that seems to characterise the build up to Christmas, 110 leading restaurants across five States went that little bit further and supported the annual DineSmart event. Now in its 13th year, restaurants ask their diners to chip in an extra $2 onto their bill to support smaller homeless services in the communities where the restaurants operate.
From 9th Nov to 31st Dec diners generously chipped in a massive $264,096 (up 12% on the 2014 tally). Every cent of the proceeds raised will now go to fund grassroots homeless services. Restaurants and their customers have now helped StreetSmart raise over $3.85 million funding over 450 community organisations. A good many of the participating restaurants increased their donation collection year on year – an awesome achievement.

Our 2016 DineSmart Top 15 Fundraisers… Read More

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DineSmart Is About Local Community

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20151205_DineSmart_0097DineSmart is all about dining out and chipping in.  It brings together committed restaurant crews and committed diners, working together to help fund some of our smaller, local homeless services.  Diners donating $2 per bill have helped StreetSmart raise $3.6 million to support 1147 projects Australia wide.

Last week I met up with Chin Chin Executive Chef Ben Cooper and Caroline and James from Youth Projects in Melbourne.  Last year Chin Chin were our top national fundraiser and some of those funds raised went to support the crucial work of the team at Youth Projects in Hosier Lane.  They are probably just 500 metres apart.  They operate in the same neighbourhood.  It’s a great example of how StreetSmart not only raises vital funds, but also helps connect communities and raises the profile of smaller services and the work they do….often unnoticed.  This is what Caroline wrote when reporting back on last years grant….

“Youth Projects Ltd. were the successful grant recipients of a $5000 grant to supply 20 WINTER SURVIVAL KITS for clients who attend the Living Room Primary Care Clinic in Hosier Lane, Melbourne.

The kits contain essential items that people experiencing homelessness felt they would need to survive the harsh winter temperatures and conditions. The kits contained a swag, thermal beanie, scarf, socks, gloves, undergarments and sleeping bag. Research showed that these items were considered by clients to be the most important in staying warm during the night in winter.

This winter has been extremely cold with temperatures frequently reaching zero so the kits were distributed within a matter of weeks of us receiving them.  You could say they were a life saver!

Obviously no one wants to see people without a roof over their heads, sleeping rough on the streets.  It’s dangerous and harsh, but currently there are few housing options for people in crisis.  These kits are a practical emergency response, bringing some comfort for those with no other alternative.   

Jack and Alison were a couple who presented to the Living Room Clinic within the first week of us receiving the kits. They were newly homeless due to being harassed and threatened, and presented in a distressed state with no warm clothes, bedding, food or toiletries. After a brief assessment of their situation it was established that Jack and Alison were the perfect people for a winter survival kit. They left with a kit each and were comforted by the fact that they were going to be able to stay warm and protected from the winter weather. We were able to help the couple over a number of weeks, eventually helping them return to their housing once the perpetrator had been removed and the situation had been resolved.

A huge thanks to all the restaurants, their staff and customers who make these community grants possible.  You are impacting many people’s lives in a very positive way.”

So, as we enter the final weeks of 2015 DineSmart campaign I wanted to thank everyone involved. That’s all the restaurateurs who gave the nod, the front of house managers and staff who run the campaign in venue and all the donors who chip in their $2’s.  Last year over 100,000 tables did just that, and helped people like Jack and Alison who, in their time of crisis, turn to the small organisations we fund and find help from people like Caroline and James.

You can DineSmart until the 31st December at participating restaurants.  Check the map here:

If you’re not dining out but support our work in the community you can donate here

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DAY 1 of DineSmart

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150861 SSA DineSmart 2015 Social Media - Day 1 SquareToday is Day 1 of our 13th DineSmart event. Hooray!

As celebrations for the festive season gather momentum (YIKES!) around the country, we’re calling on our supporters to ‘Dine Out Help Out’ at 126 restaurants around the country and chip in a micro donation to help fund grassroots homeless projects. It’s a gentle nudge to us all at a time of year that can get a touch self indulgent.

Last year over 100,000 tables added their $2 donation and contributed to local social impact through our community grants. These grants may seem small but are vital at a time when funding to homeless services has been cut and demand increased.

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Silver Chef partners with StreetSmart to build DineSmart

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For 12 years StreetSmart has been partnering with businesses across the hospitality industry to bring about social change in their local communities. Over 1000 restaurants and cafes have been involved in either DineSmart or CafeSmart, raising funds to power grassroots homeless projects. If you had asked me what kind of company I would like to work with, to build our events and social impact, I couldn’t have imagined a better fit than Silver Chef.

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