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The philanthropic arm of Hilton, the Hilton Effect Foundation has awarded commercial bakery The Bread & Butter Project a 2021 Hilton Effect Grant in recognition of the project’s work with refugees and asylum seekers. 

The Bread & Butter Project CEO Peter Boyd said the grant would have a significant impact after a difficult year for Australia’s first social enterprise bakery. 

“After Covid-19 hit and restaurants and cafés were forced to close their doors – in 2020 and again in 2021 – we’ve needed help to keep our workers employed. 

“For the last six months, we’ve been very focussed on surviving the pandemic without standing down or reducing the hours of our staff, many of whom are in financially vulnerable positions due to their refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds,” said Boyd. 

Bread & Butter was selected from hundreds of applicants, with recipients chosen for their commitment to having a long-term, meaningful impact on the people and communities they serve, by driving progress on critical environmental or social challenges. 

Hilton Effect Foundation president Erica Gordon said: “We are proud of all the people and organisations who have come together to provide urgent support for young people, women, minority populations and refugees who continue to be adversely impacted by ongoing global crises. 

“Bread & Butter’s work to create sustainable solutions to assist those seeking refuge and asylum in Australia is so inspiring, and we look forward to seeing their continued positive impact for years to come.” 

Bread & Butter was founded in 2013 to provide refugees and asylum seekers with training and employment pathways.Since then, more than 55 people have graduated through the program and are now employed in the hospitality industry. 

Trainees receive English and numeracy tutoring, TAFE accreditation, on-the-job training and job readiness support through a six-to-eight-month traineeship program. Graduates have come from Iran; Iraq; Syria; Jordan; Afghanistan; Pakistan; Myanmar; Thailand; Mongolia; Tibet; Sri Lanka; Fiji; and Papua New Guinea. 

When Covid first hit in 2020, Bread & Butter worked with Woolworths to pivot its business from a wholesale operation to supplying 14 Woolworths Metro stores in Sydney. The partnership evolved in November, where the bakery opened its first retail concession store in the Erskineville Woolworths Metro Park store, with 100 per cent of all profits generated going towards its programs.

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