Lentil as Anything. Pay what you feel (or what you can afford).

Loved my time volunteering at Lentil, in St Kilda. My dream, to have a Lentil in Birmingham..


 By Alexandra Anderson

Photo: Alexandra Anderson Photography Photo: Alexandra Anderson Photography

If you couldn’t afford to pay anything, then the hope was that those with the means could make up for those who could not.

Blackbird Whistling speaks with Wendy Allan, manager of Lentil as Anything at Abottsford Convent, Melbourne.

14 years ago, founder Shanaka Fernando opened the first Lentil as Anything resturant in St.Kilda, Melbourne, with the idea that everyone, regardless of wealth, religion, culture of status could sit together at the table with dignity. His vision was to have this  happen under an honesty system where you anonymously paid what you felt the meal was worth, or what you could afford. If you couldn’t afford anything, then the hope was that those with the means could make up for those who could not. This vision not only took root in St.Kilda, but expanded across Melbourne in Footscray, Abbotsford and Preston and one…

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This entry was posted in Community, Food, Volunteering and tagged by Travelling Coral. Bookmark the permalink.

About Travelling Coral

I started blogging in 2011 to record some of the highlights of the round the world trip I made with my husband Phil. On the 5 month trip we visited California, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand. We met some fantastic people, saw amazing things and ate some lovely food. Yet while enjoying these new experiences I became acutely aware of the inequality in both first and third world countries. The gap between the rich and the poor on the streets of LA and KL was the same. On my return home, I realised that this inequality existed in the UK. I had to leave the country to see it for what it was. Food banks were opening in every town and city. I read the now famous blog, A Girl Called Jack and got more interested in how food poverty impacts the lives of so many people in my home country. And I got angry. And wanted to do something about it. Now, I work for Smethwick CAN, a charity bringing people together to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunity and support the most vulnerable. One of the projects is a foodbank. Food poverty is shocking in any country, yet over a third of edible food still ends up in landfill. No one should go hungry, yet children are going to school without breakfast. Parents are skipping meals to feed their children. Foodbanks are a sticking plaster not a cure for food poverty. So, in addition to working for a charity that is supporting people in crisis, I volunteer for The Real Junk Food Project. They intercept food that would normally be thrown away, and cook it and serve it in a Pay as You Feel Cafe. I am still adjusting to life back at home in Birmingham, England, I have terminal Farsickness. To keep it at bay, I drag my husband and sometimes the son on shorter trips both in the UK and overseas. I now post random stuff that interests me. This includes travel, food and well being. The writing keeps me sane. Long term travelling is my goal.

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