Serving Up Change: Plate it Forward and Mirvac’s Impactful Journey Through Food
Together with our social enterprise partner, Plate it Forward, Mirvac is proud to be named the winner of the 2023 Social Traders Game Changer Award (NSW and ACT).
Jointly accepting the 2023 Social Traders Game Changer Award (NSW and ACT), alongside Plate it Forward Founder, Shaun Christie-David, Mirvac’s Chief Asset Management Officer Victoria Tavendale said the award was recognition that purpose can sit alongside profit, which results in a better outcome for everyone.
“Partnering with Plate it Forward has been a game changer for Mirvac as it’s encouraged us to look at our social procurement activity through a different lens,” Victoria said.
“We were able to pivot some of our asset spaces and provide the Plate it Forward team with what they needed – commercial quality kitchens and equipment – to increase their support for marginalised community members and help foster positive change in society.”
Founded in July 2020, Plate it Forward has been dedicated to addressing the needs of vulnerable communities in Sydney, including refugees, asylum seekers, and people with disabilities.
Mirvac has been an instrumental partner in Plate it Forward’s success, providing support by offering restaurant space and kitchen equipment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Plate it Forward stepped up its efforts and began providing hundreds of meals each week to vulnerable community members, operating from its Colombo Social kitchen.
They were able to collaborate with Mirvac to find an underutilised commercial kitchen in Sydney's CBD, allowing the group to double meal output and cater to more people in need.
Mirvac then helped to locate a larger space in a vacant restaurant at Harbourside shopping centre in Darling Harbour. This enabled operations to scale up – with 1,000 restaurant-quality meals served up each week, three times the previous capacity.
The success of Plate it Forward's initiatives didn't end there. They launched Ability Social, a training program offering disadvantaged individuals a six-month industry-led course to become chefs.
Participants are paid during their training, ensuring financial security. The program has seen exceptional success, with 100% of graduates securing employment and some joining the team.
In 2022, Plate it Forward opened Kabul Social at Mirvac's MetCentre (with the space provided gratis), curated by female Afghan refugees, which became a hit among city workers. In April of the same year, they returned to South Eveleigh, opening Coyoacan Social, a traditional Mexican eatery donating meals to a rehabilitation centre in Mexico.
Plate it Forward’s impact has been immense, having donated 443,201 meals to those in need, provided 58,395 hours of employment, and paid wages totalling $2,775,810.
The Social Traders National Game Changer award recognises this exceptional work and the transformative impact it has had on vulnerable communities in Sydney.
Mirvac are a founding member of Social Traders, and recently partnered with them to pilot a new Supplier Development Program, where we will support four high-potential social enterprises to help them scale up to meet the needs of big businesses like Mirvac.
Mirvac acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters of Australia, and we offer our respect to their Elders past and present.
Artwork: ‘Reimagining Country’, created by Riki Salam (Mualgal, Kaurareg, Kuku Yalanji) of We are 27 Creative.