Words by Jessica Kerr, a University of Pittsburgh student who spent some time volunteering at Lentil as Anything while studying abroad in Sydney with CAPA International Education.
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While studying abroad this semester, I've been volunteering at a restaurant called Lentil as Anything once or twice per week.
I first came about this opportunity during a MyEducation event that CAPA put on for us in Sydney, which was a food crawl around a quirky place called Newtown.
Lentils was the first place we stopped at, and I immediately fell in love with their mission. The woman who served us our food explained how Lentil as Anything is a not-for-profit organization that hires refugee, long-term unemployed, and homeless people.
The menu changes day to day based on the food they are able to get, and what makes this menu special is not only that it is vegan, but that there is never a price. They depend on donations to keep their business running because they believe everyone should only pay how much they are able to afford for the day. If someone cannot afford to pay, they can volunteer for a lunch or dinner shift to make up for the lack of monetary payment.
She then explained that most of the servers are volunteers, and this is where my opportunity came about. Since I do a bit of waitressing at home, I thought my services could be used here to help the Newtown community.
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My job at Lentil as Anything is mainly waitressing. I take orders, deliver food, clean up dishes, set up tables, and anything else that it needed of me for the day.