Cook 2 connect and raise funds for people seeking asylum

dishes and food cooked by refugees cook to connect

We need you to Cook 2 Connect this refugee week and fundraise for people seeking asylum

Whether you’re a master chef or a home cook we’re asking you to organise a dinner party this Refugee Week (June 17th-23rd) and feed not only your guests, but raise funds for people seeking asylum in need.

It’s a great way to gather a group of friends and family and share in the cooking of a meal using a special recipe from a person seeking asylum to raise funds for the needs of women, men and children seeking asylum and JRS’ work to support them.

People seeking asylum are in dire need  

Drastic reductions to government support began last year when some individuals seeking asylum were told they were being cut off from income support and other essential services. Since then even more people have been affected. The government has outlined people seeking asylum and receiving Status Resolution Support Services Payments (SRSS) support payments will be reassessed and those found to be ‘work ready’ will be required to immediately find work in order to survive.

What the government is forgetting when making these decisions is that people seeking asylum want to work and meaningfully contribute to society, but finding work is hard at the best of times. By slashing support, and giving people only 7 days to find a job, the government is manufacturing situations of systemic poverty, destitution, and homelessness. The panic and fear being felt by the people at risk of having this vital lifeline cut off is plunging them into further despair and hopelessness.

It’s why we need you to Cook 2 Connect so they and their families don’t go hungry.

A delicious and meaningful recipe

Once a week, at the JRS Arrupe Community Centre in Parramatta, people take it in turns to cook a beloved dish to share with everyone. If you ever pop into the centre on a Tuesday you’ll find people squished in our tiny kitchen, chopping and chatting, smells wafting through the house, children playing and being fed spoonfuls to taste, while music blares from the speakers (the chef also gets to play DJ).

We share in food from around the world, from India, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Nigeria and Iran. For this very special Refugee Week action, we’ve chosen to share with you a community centre favourite, Adas Polo, a delicious dish from Iran. Several gifted cooks in the JRS family have contributed to the instruction, demonstration, translation and testing of this recipe you can use it at your very own Cook 2 Connect dinner party. We know everyone will be asking for more!

How to get started

  1. Register your Cook 2 Connect dinner party by calling (02) 9356 3888 or email joanna.brooke@jrs.org.au
  2. JRS will send you a resource pack including a recipe
  3. Invite friends to a dinner party at your home or organise to cook at your church, school or community group.
  4. Ask each guest to donate $20 to enjoy a meal with friends
  5. Share in the cooking of a special meal from one of the people we serve and celebrate refugee week
  6. Remember that all donations are tax deductible

Why it’s important to share a meal 

Food is a basic need. But sharing food does more than just providing sustenance for our bodies, it provides it for our communities too. Society segments us in many ways—by race, by gender, by religion, by class, by ability and by education.

But breaking bread breaks down these barriers. Gathering around a table to share a meal can radically shift people’s perspectives and has been proven to make people see others as equals.

By hosting a Cook 2 Connect fundraising event you’ll be helping to educate your guests about the plight of people seeking asylum and help to break down misconceptions about one of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

Organise your own Cook 2 Connect dinner party

To register and receive your resource pack, call JRS on 02 9356 3888 or email joanna.brooke@jrs.org.au.

Your resource pack will include a recipe, fact sheets about people seeking asylum, as well as information on how to collect donations.

Please help us by spreading the word about this action near and far, encouraging everyone you know to whip up a storm in the kitchen to help people seeking asylum in need.

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