Saul Miller of Rare Steakhouse in Melbourne’s CBD has established the Melbourne For Life! initiative to support frontline workers with prepared meals throughout the pandemic.
Inspired by the successful Brooklyn For Life! movement, the project aims to fund each of its restaurant partners to prepare at least 150 meals per day to Melbourne frontline workers, which are then donated at no cost to recipients.
Established only two weeks ago, Saul is calling on donations to help make the concept a reality.
“Melbourne for Life! is seeking much-needed donations to support the people who are looking after our city,” says Saul.
“What this initiative also does is bring a purpose back to hospitality venues who are opening up their kitchens and giving their staff something to do during lockdown by cooking and preparing meals for first responders and those disadvantaged by the pandemic.”
Direct access to hospital workers, however, is the project’s current battle.
“We know our hospitals are working hard and there are many protocols and red tape in place to deliver our meals safely to those in the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, and Royal Women’s Hospital. But we are currently in talks and planning to get the meals to our front-line workers directly, that’s the goal,” Saul says.
In the meantime, prepared meals are being distributed to local charities supporting individuals and families that have endured financial ruin and deteriorated health in the Melbourne suburbs of Seaford, Footscray, Fitzroy, and the CBD.
Actor Jeffrey Wright initiated the Brooklyn for Life! initiative in the United States, which Saul says inspired the establishment of the Melbourne equivalent.
“I was watching a documentary titled NYC Epicentres 9/11 and 2021 on New York’s response to the 9/11 and COVID-19 crisis and heard about the success Jeffrey had through starting up the Brooklyn for Life! movement for Brooklyn’s frontline workers,” he says. “I thought, ‘why can’t we do the same thing here?’ So that’s what we’ve done, and I’m now only one contact away from connecting with Jeff directly, the man who started this movement.”
Brooklyn For Life! has raised more than $1.5 million and greatly assisted the Brooklyn community by donating 150,000 meals thanks to 50 participating restaurants.
Together, with the support of the Honourable Lord Mayor Sally Capp, the Melbourne for Life! equivalent is now live.
With Melbourne set to emerge from lockdown on 21 October and ignite the hospitality scene once again, Saul says it’s important to remember that the fight for this global pandemic is far from over with our hospital staff expected to be working to capacity limits for the next few months.
“We want this initiative to keep going. It’s in its infancy and it needs further support to make a difference, and I won’t stop until we get there,” says Saul.
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/melbourneforlife
For more information, visit https://melbourneforlife.com.au