We are feeling so touched and overwhelmed by your generosity.
Thank-you for helping a little piece of Melbourne and Sydney make it through COVID. You have given us a way to continue our never more critical food relief and social impact programs, and avoid going into administration.
We know we can’t rely on GoFund Me forever. We are frantically working to find ways to adapt to COVID to ensure longer-term sustainability (details below on this and how the money raised is being used).
20 years ago, a wacky little restaurant without prices opened up in St Kilda. But Lentil as Anything has always been more than just a restaurant without prices. We are a movement for social fairness and inclusion.
We have no prices because we believe everyone deserves a seat at the table, together. Most of us might be in lockdown, but each one of you is a testament to how we can keep coming together, without physically being together. From the bottom of our hearts, thank-you for saving Lentil from the pandemic.
- Love from your Lentil as Anything family
Why do we need your ongoing support through COVID?
For twenty years we have been a self-sustainable not-for-profit. However, COVID-19 threw a spanner in our organisational model, given 3 of our 4 restaurants are in Melbourne lockdown and the fourth is operating at limited seating capacity.
Prior to COVID, we could rely on the cashflow from our ‘pay as you feel is fair’ restaurants to support our numerous social projects. These projects have continued through COVID - for example we are providing 1,000 food relief meals per week.
How are we working to adapt to COVID and become sustainable again?
We cannot rely on Go Fund Me forever, and we are rapidly working to re-imagine how we will continue operating sustainably in a world with COVID. However, while we make these changes we need to keep this Go Fund Me open so as to have supplementary ways to support our food relief programs and ongoing costs (rent, staff)
Where this money is going now?
At Lentil, we don’t usually like to talk about money. However, given the overwhelming generosity over 5,000 people, we wanted to be transparent about:
- Lentil’s financial situation
- Why we have extended the Go Fund Me campaign
- How we will be using any funds raised beyond the initial $300,000 that was needed to service immediate debt and save us from administration.
What are you doing with the $300,000 initially raised?
The $300,000 raised has saved Lentil from imminent threat of administration. Throughout COVID we have not stopped our food relief programs, but our cashflow that had been used to fund those programs virtually disappeared.
Lentil As Anything had ~$500,000 in debt when we started this campaign. The first $300,000 from Go Fund Me has brought our debt down to $200,000. We have managed to negotiate $120,000 into loans to be paid back after COVID restrictions ease and our restaurants can operate at full capacity. We are working on a strategy to address the remaining $80,000 debt, such as applying for government grants.
What we will do with any funds above $300,000?
All funds about the $300,000 mark will be used help us continue social programs (including food relief) and pay our ongoing costs until we our restaurants return to full capacity or we find a way to re-invent our organisational model (we’re working rapidly on this!)
Examples of the programs Lentil runs include: food relief programs, supporting people from all walks of life to achieve their potential through our Employment Pathways, Barista Training, Social Hospitality Course and Migrant and Refugee Support Services.
If you would like to help us through our ongoing adaption to COVID, please offer to volunteer or become a regular donor, details are on our website.
DonationsSee top donations
- Anine Cummins
- Klaus Schröder
Fundraising team: Lentil (2)
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