Australia

Melbourne man’s kind act feeds 1000 people

A Melbourne local has set up a fridge out the front of his house filled with homemade, free meals available “for anyone” in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Matthew Kneller has free meals waiting for collection on his front lawn in Footscray, in Melbourne’s inner-west. The initiative has been going on for nearly two months,…

A Melbourne local has set up a fridge out the front of his house filled with homemade, free meals available “for anyone” in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matthew Kneller has free meals waiting for collection on his front lawn in Footscray, in Melbourne’s inner-west.

The initiative has been going on for nearly two months, all out of Mr Kneller’s own pocket, to help people who have lost their livelihoods during the lockdown.

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“This fridge lives outside my place,” Mr Kneller posted on Instagram, which has since been shared on other community pages.

“You don’t have to msg (sic) or ask, u can just grab what you want.

“It is stocked w/ free meals for anyone, there are no prerequisites for using it.”

In the first month, Mr Kneller handed out 500 free meals. Altogether, he reckons he’s distributed over 1000 meals.

Even with lockdown restrictions easing, “We … ain’t stopping anytime soon,” he said.

He’s been making an assortment of meals, including curries, stews, ferments, dips, noodles and rice dishes.

The fridge has also become a good way for grassroots organisations to find those in need, according to Mr Kneller. He’s been able to help all kinds of different people including the homeless, international students, squats, healthcare workers and more.

And Mr Kneller didn’t stop there; he even plans to get his own delivery service going, to help people who are stranded at home.

“If you know of people that are struggling let me know and I’ll organise a drop-off,” he added.

Just yesterday, Mr Kneller started a GoFundMe campaign to help reach more people in need.

“When covid (sic) restrictions first came into place in Victoria a lot of food outreach organisations had to scale back their services to ensure the safety of the greater community,” the fundraiser’s description reads.

“On top of this a huge number of people have found themselves in financial difficulty unexpectedly, or for the first time, and will have to do one of the hardest things we as humans can do — ask for help.

“I’m looking to raise the cash to keep this going for as there is a need for it.

“100% of the money raised will go to buying ingredients to cook and keep the fridge stocked.

“Thanks for your support :).”

Members of the community are rallying to Mr Kneller’s side. He’s already raised $130 and aims to get to $1000 on the fundraiser.

One Footscray resident has offered to add her cooking repertoire to the menu, saying: “I’m in Footscray and a pretty avid vegan cook if you ever want help.”

Inspired by Mr Kneller, 7-Eleven offered to match the GoFundMe campaign, giving $1000 to the initiative.

“We will be stocking the fridge with an abundance of ready-made meals, while also gifting Matthew with $1,000 to thank him for his kind and generous deed,” a 7-Eleven spokesperson told news.com.au.

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