Top Australian chefs and foodies including Kylie Kwong, Julie Goodwin and Neil Perry have teamed up with a Sri Lankan farmer to draw attention to the growing food crisis facing the world’s poorest communities.
More than 30 chefs, food bloggers and home cooks from around the country have donated recipes for a new online cookbook in support of Oxfam Australia’s Stop Hunger campaign, which is helping to provide small-scale farmers with the tools, seeds and skills they need to feed their families.
Chandrani from Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka’s North is the face of Oxfam’s Stop Hunger campaign. Until recently, Chandrani and her husband were struggling to support their family as poorly paid labourers – unable to buy food for their family or send their three kids to school.
“We could not afford to eat rice all three meals. We did not have enough income to eat nutritious food. We only wanted to suppress our hunger,” Chandrani said.
“Before, we had a problem of accessing water; we could not cultivate paddy fields and vegetables.”
A water irrigation system supplied by Oxfam together with partner organisation RGNK allowed Chandrani to grow vegetables for her family to eat and start a home gardening business. She is now able to earn an income from selling surplus vegetables, allowing her to send her three children to school.
Inspired by Chandrani’s story and the vegetables she is now able to grow in her garden, like capsicum, radish, beetroot, spinach, and chillies, Australian foodies jumped at the chance to help draw attention to the Stop Hunger campaign by contributing their own vegetable-based recipes to Oxfam.
Oxfam Ambassadors Julie Goodwin and Kylie Kwong both based their recipes around eggplant, one of the vegetables Chandrani is now able to grow in her home garden.
“No matter what country we’re from, mothers will do whatever it takes to give their children healthy food. Women in Sri Lanka are prepared to do the work needed to plant a veggie garden, and nurture their plants until they’re ready to be harvested and eaten. But they need some help getting that garden started. Please join me and Oxfam in partnering with these mothers, to provide the tools and seeds they need to grow food for their families,” Mrs Goodwin said.
“I passionately believe that all people, the world over, should have access to fresh, nutritious and sustainable food to support their families. Unfortunately, far too many are missing out, but together we can make a difference,” Ms Kwong said.
Learn more about Oxfam’s work to combat hunger around the world: visit www.oxfam.org.au/stophunger