Project Nasi

Matt George
Swellnet Dispatch

Nasi is the Indonesian word for rice, the sacred staple of any meal here in Bali. Which is why surfer/restaurateurs Sam Mahony and James Foley chose Project Nasi as the name for their grassroots efforts to help feed the disadvantaged during the Covid -19 Lockdown here on the Island of the Gods.

With the beaches closed and zero overseas visitors, the impact of this global pandemic has been devastating to the local communities that depend on surfing and surfers for their daily bread. Mahony and Foley have turned their restaurants into 'crisis kitchens'. Impromptu aid stations where the local community can drop by and pick up individual recyclable paper bags full of food supplies that should keep a family fed for a week at a time.

“A lot of us expat surfers and businessmen come from such privileged countries”, says Wollongong native Sam Mahony, “where help can come in so many forms. But here the people are dependent on each other for survival. Project Nasi is a chance for any surfer that has ever surfed Bali to help the people of this island that have welcomed us into their waves as well as into their way of life”.

Both Sam and James, along with other surfers like Ella Weishaar, Chelsea Mahony, Blake Johnson, Jessy Hansen and local surf club Presidents Nyoman 'Winchester' Sumastra and Mangku Kasim, have all banded together to make this an island-wide network. With other restaurants also able to use their supply chain to provide the same service to the community in a coordinated, efficient way.

Project Nasi is so far operating on donations from the people named above and through crowdfunding. The hope is that Project Nasi may grow into a organisation that will continually provide food for the needy in any future disaster or pandemic situation.

“As the crossroads of international surfing,” says Maroubra native Foley, “Bali holds a special place in millions of surfers hearts. I mean, generations have surfed magic waves here and have had incredible experiences with the culture. It’s really simple, Project Nasi is such a perfect way to just say thanks for all of it. That’s the spirit of the whole thing”.   

Click to donate to Project Nasi

(All photos Josh Symon)


Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 27 Apr 2020 at 1:50pm


Good work , crew. The people of Indonesia and especially the Balinese are good neighbours and good friends.

Optimist's picture
Optimist's picture
Optimist commented Monday, 27 Apr 2020 at 2:54pm

Love guys like this, count me in.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Monday, 27 Apr 2020 at 2:59pm

My friend Dave has been doing similar things. Started from nothing about two weeks ago, and he's caning it now. Stoked to have been able to help out.

Here's his insta, with a link to donate:

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 27 Apr 2020 at 5:40pm

Now this is a proper cause.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.'s picture's picture commented Monday, 27 Apr 2020 at 7:28pm

how good is food


Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano commented Tuesday, 28 Apr 2020 at 7:12am

In all my travels its hard to beat the warm and hospitable nature of the Balinese. Good luck guys

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Tuesday, 28 Apr 2020 at 1:58pm

good job