THE FREMANTLE Environmental Resource Network wants local restaurants and cafes to donate their unused food as they prepare to dial its soup kitchen back up to its former glory.
FERN used to serve organic vegan meals to Freo’s homeless five nights a week, but when its work-for-the-dole funding dried up had to cut down to just two.
Co-convenor Simon Peterffy says Soupi sometimes brought 200 hungry punters in on a busy night and cutting back had been a hard, and disappointing, decision.
But with donations flowing in from OzHarvest and Food Rescue, a strong team of volunteer cooks, and a thriving veggie garden, he reckons Soupi can get back on track by November.
All they need is a more regular supply of food donations, which he hopes to organise through sponsorship with cafes.
“Our goal is to provide healthy, wholesome food to a large range of Freo residents. We believe there’s probably, with the current economic climate, more need for this than there has been in the past,” Mr Peterffy says.
“We know there’s a lot of good people in Fremantle who will step up to the plate.”
People can be wary about accessing a soup kitchen, but Mr Peterffy believes Soupi, in the welcoming enclave of FERN, is a little different.
“We’re tailor making one that really suits the culture of Freo.”
And he’s holding out an olive branch to Food Not Bombs (a similar charity initiative) to join the Soupi team, after it was forced out of FERN’s main kitchen following a tiff in August.
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM