100 Hampton Road – closing the gap between rich and poor

Closing the gap between rich and poor is often an incremental process, and it involves a lot of commitment from everyone involved. Sophie Budd, of Taste Budds Cooking Studio is a great example of someone who gives their time and expertise to empower poor and underprivileged people to break out of the cycle of income, health and employment issues.

Sophie worked with the residents at 100 Hampton Road, Fremantle – a residence for 192 men and women in need run by Foundation Housing – to help prepare them to make a positive exit from the social housing system. Using a vast commercial kitchen that was renovated in 2015 with the help of a $100,000 Fremantle Foundation grant, Sophie taught residents kitchen and cooking techniques, helped them learn about health and fitness, and even helped them set up an edible garden.

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“Our aim is to make sure the kitchen is sustainable and is used every day, either by the residents coming home to cook, or being hired out for catering purposes,” said Sophie. Many of the residents have enjoyed and benefited significantly from Sophie’s Monday classes, which in addition to providing general information around health and fitness, put Food Rescue fruit and vegetables to good use by preparing up to 200 packaged meals for the residents. The attendees learned hygiene and cooking techniques, gained food preparation skills, and enjoyed the freshly made soups, salads, spaghettis and much more that they made.

One of the outstanding success stories of Sophie’s program is Jess. Separated from her children and unemployed, Jess was a resident at 100 Hampton when she started attending the Monday classes. “I had no cooking experience when I started,” said Jess. “But Sophie taught me the skills I needed in the kitchen. Then she gave me a job making jam at her studio, and occasionally helping with the preparation work for catering jobs. I know I have a bit of a rough outline, but Sophie saw through that and gave me a chance.”

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Today Jess has moved out of 100 Hampton into her own home, and has her kids living with her. Working with Sophie has given Jess the skills, but more importantly the confidence and the motivation to break the poverty cycle, and provide a happy home for herself and her children.

That’s how we help to close the gap between rich and poor.

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