Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Free to Feed

Free to Feed


Engaging refugees, people seeking asylum and new migrants in a range of innovative food-based enterprises.

Free to feed is a hands-on training and employment project run by social enterprise, Free To Ltd. The project uses an innovative model - a pop-up cooking school - as a meaningful employment and isolation-busting opportunity for refugees, people seeking asylum and new migrants. 

2016 Pitch
Funds raised: $29,335

Free to Feed raised $29,335 at TFN Live in Sydney to fund their own purpose-built kitchen, as a headquarters for the cooking school and to be developed into a micro-enterprise hub, supporting and training refugees and asylum seekers in a range of food-related enterprises.

The impact...

Free to Feed believes that the kitchen is where the magic happens. And, for refugees, people seeking asylum and new migrants it’s also where opportunity happens. In their cooking classes, these new Australians can share a language we all speak – food – and with it they also share their culture, their story and their passion. However, at the Sydney event Loretta and Daniel let the Funding Network and the event attendees in on their little secret: they were a cooking school without a kitchen!

Since their inception, they had been using borrowed spaces. Those spaces ran out, leading them to pitch for a kitchen of their very own. They needed $27,000 for a full kitchen fit-out and The Funding Network donors responded with $29,335 in pledges. Now Free to Feed has a multi-purpose event and work space, which has seen thousands of supporters come through and learn more about this organisation and meet their diverse crew of chefs.

Free To Feed. Sri Lankan Dinner- Emily Weaving- June 2017-1.jpg

One of these chefs is Hamed. The audience at TFN Live in Sydney were fortunate enough to meet Hamed and hear his story. Hamed has now run over 100 classes at Free to Feed, earning enough money to support his family and start his own catering business. He has improved his English, has a following of over 4k on social media, is a leader in Persian cuisine and an advocate on the plight of refugees and people seeking asylum. He plans to run his own food tourism business one day. Thanks to Free to Feed, and the generous donations of our donors, he has this opportunity.

“TFN funding has been transformative… without this kitchen we would not be able to generate sales or generate employment opportunities for our supported employees” - Loretta Bolotin, Co-Founder, Free to Feed

Read their Impact Report

Learn more about free to feed.

First Hand Solutions

First Hand Solutions

Project Rockit

Project Rockit