Photo by Happy Cow
Photo by Sarah Matray for Herald Sun

Shanaka Fernando


Lentil As Anything




Lentil As Anything




Lifestyle & Culture





What makes Shanaka Fernando a Global Shaker?

Shanaka Fernando has come up with an intriguing model combining sustainable food and social justice: a ‘pay as you feel’ system, in which everyone is welcome to come for a 100% vegan meal and contribute what they can.

Through Lentil as Anything, Fernando was awarded Australia’s Local Hero / Social Challenger at the Australian of the Year awards in 2007.

The Sri Lanka-born visionary opened the first Lentil As Anything in 2000, later expanding to offer a “food rescue” grocery, with the business aiming to be committed to feeding and connecting the community and encouraging environmental sustainability.

“Lentil As Anything aims to provide food without borders: without borders of race or gender, finance or social status,” the website reads.

“Everyone is welcome to come for a meal and contribute in any way they can. Some people volunteer their time in the kitchen or on the floor, others leave a financial donation in one of the contribution boxes.

“All leave with the feeling that they are part of an inclusive community.”

Alongside affordable food, Fernando’s restaurant also offers a professional barista course for refugees and asylum seekers.

Tags: food and drink

Last updated: June 18, 2019