This Social Enterprise is Giving Gourmet Meals to Women in Refuges

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Because they deserve it, says Kylie Kwong.

Photograph by Petrina Tinslay

ING Dreamstarter has been supporting social enterprises for more than four years, and so far has helped over 70 businesses reach their goals. 

When Lisa McAdams turned up at a women’s shelter after escaping her abusive husband, there was a moment when she suddenly remembered that there is kindness in the world, not just violence and despair.

The realisation came when she was handed a care pack containing toiletries, which she was grateful for because she’d forgotten to bring her own in the midst of her panic. But what really struck her was the purple bow tied around the pack. That someone had gone to the trouble of adding a bow touched Lisa deeply and was instrumental to her beginning to rebuild her self-worth.

Recreating that “purple bow moment” is something that Rob Caslick strives to achieve every day through his work with Two Good.

The Sydney-based social enterprise works on a “buy one, give one” principle: every time a person buys one of Two Good’s products, the exact same item is donated to a woman having a tough time of life.

Photograph by Peter Daly

In the lead-up to Mothers’ Day on 13 May, if you purchase a care pack from Two Good Co – either to treat yourself or your own mum – Two Good promises to give one to a woman in a safe house. The pack contains lush 250ml bottles of body wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner (and of course, that all-important silk ribbon).

Two Good started off as a soup kitchen in Sydney’s King Cross about six years ago, where it served up healthy, high-quality meals to the homeless. Rob wanted to scale things up so that he could help more people, but the only way he could do that as a charity was to do more fundraising.

“Previously, I was raising money to give out food. And the only way I could give out more food was by raising more money, which wasn’t how I wanted to grow,” he explained.

Rob hit upon the idea of becoming a social enterprise and then in 2016, received a scholarship through ING’s Dreamstarter program, which helped him launch a catering service for the general public and women in refuges in Melbourne and Sydney.

The meals – AKA “love in a jar” – are designed by virtually every hatted chef in Australia, including Kylie Kwong, Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, Neil Perry and Peter Gilmore. Each time a meal is ordered online (with handy delivery through Deliveroo), one meal is given to a woman in a refuge in Melbourne or Sydney. Rob describes the idea behind it as, “You eat one, we treat one.”

Speaking on the SBS program The Feed, Kylie Kwong said, “We could have given the women a simple noodle dish, but we wanted to give them the best noodle dish we could offer, because that’s what they deserve.”

As well as enjoying a delicious and healthy lunch that will cost you less than $15, it’s a sure-fire way to boost your feel-good energy for the afternoon.

The meals are prepared by Two Good’s professional chefs and a team of women who are either homeless or in transitional housing. This helps victims of domestic violence take their first step towards rebuilding their lives and this is one of the things Rob is most proud of. To date, 40,000 meals have been provided to women in need and by the end of this year, Two Good’s goal is to be helping women in every women’s shelter in Australia.

Last year, Two Good ran a crowdfunding campaign with the help of the ING Dreamstarter program that raised more than $30,000, and this is what enabled Two Good to launch its range of body care packs.

To date, Two Good has donated over a thousand packs, and Rob is hoping that by Mothers’ Day, that figure will have increased exponentially.

Are you a social entrepreneur with an idea that will create positive change in your community? Dreamstarter by ING can provide the support you need. 

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