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Supporting Independent Businesses During Covid

As the lock-down finally begins to ease shops, eateries and markets have begun the process of reopening.  At Good Food in Greenwich we always love supporting local businesses but believe it is more important now than ever.  It has been a really tough few months for small businesses and they need our support to keep trading.  Doing so will help them to ride out this period so they can continue to enrich the borough through sharing their amazing and diverse produce. 

Here are 6 ways of supporting local businesses and using this opportunity as a catalyst to change to our buying habits to ones supportive of independent traders. 

  • Buy home delivery from local suppliers. 

Since the lock-down many food businesses have moved their focus to providing home delivery services.  It’s worth looking online to see what produce can be delivered by local food suppliers.  In Greenwich The Very Green Grocer is delivering fruit and veg boxes along with other groceries.  So too is the VIllage Green Grocer in Charlton.  Ehla Street Eats has been delivering delicious Mediterranean food such as falafel throughout the lockdown.  

In Lewisham Brockley Brewery have been doing the important work of keeping South East Londoners supplied with very high quality home delivery beer over the past 3 months. 

  • Treat yourself and support a local firm 

Many restaurants and cafes are delivering food to your home at the moment.  It’s a great opportunity to support a local business while getting exceptional food delivered right to your door Klose & Soan in Deptford, for example, have been offering sensational home delivery dishes with free delivery to all South East London post codes.  What’s more, they are donating 50p from every main meal bought to Pepys Social Supermarket. 

Check out Slade Café in Plumstead too who adapted their business to supply mouth-watering deli items. 

In Lewisham the Sparrow has been delivering high end food to people’s homes as have The Blue Room.  L’Oculto is delivering deli delights and is open 3 days a week for take away food.  Finally Daun’s Deli has been supplying an amazing array of plant-based food for home delivery. 

  • Pay It Forward 

Many food businesses are offering vouchers to be spent when the lock-down is fully over.  What a great idea to offer as a present to loved ones while also supporting local businesses.  If you’ve saved any money from not going out much recently you can use this to buy a voucher to give your friends and family a real treat to look forward to. 

Jerome’s wine barGently ElephantKlose & Soan and Catford yoga House have all been offering voucher schemes during the lockdown period. 

  • Support the Good Food Community 

Lots of businesses have responded to the food crises by mobilising to offer charitable work to get food to the most vulnerable in society.  Local, independent businesses are often better placed to help those people who get missed by the larger charities.  We can help support these efforts to ensure that no-one goes hungry by donating time and money to these organisations. 

Progress Barbers for example have set themselves up as a food bank to help the local community and the Old Cottage Coffee Shop in Charlton Park has been providing meals for isolated elderly people.  

GCDA too has been at the heart of an emergency food response getting thousands of food boxes and meals to the most vulnerable in society. 

  • Share the good food word 

We want to help match the amazing produce of our local suppliers to people who want to buy them.  Often small independent shops do not have the advertising reach of larger businesses.  If you know of any local shops in the Greenwich area who could use some more public exposure let us know.  We’ll be happy to promote them.  And please shout about any businesses you love on social media so more people hear about them. 

  • Visit local markets 

With the lock-down easing one of the most enjoyable ways to shop has become possible again.  Local markets are opening up for business.   

Royal Arsenal Farmers’ Market has been supporting its traders with its delicious Market Bundles, perfect for a weekend treat for yourself or someone you love.  The bundles can be ordered through Made In Greenwich and are delivered directly to your door.  Order by midnight on Tuesday for a Friday delivery. The market reopens on Saturday 27th June with all your favourite, loyal producers and makers keen to welcome customers back.  Royal Arsenal Farmers’ Market is held every second and last Saturday of the month, 10am – 3pm in Royal Artillery Square, SE18 6ST 

Other markets to reopen are Greenwich Market which is now open on Thursday to Sundays from 10am to 4.30pm.  It, along with all the markets listed here is operating social distancing measures to keep customers and traders safe.  Blackheath Market is trading every Sunday come rain or shine from 9.30am. 

Brockley Market, Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, Lewisham Market, Monday – Saturday and Beresford Square Market, Monday to Saturday from 9am are all now open.  

Finally if you’d like to see the variety of local independent food sellers available you can also read our data base of local businesses here. 



New Seasonal Veg campaign calls on consumers to eat in-season vegetables

With schools, restaurants, and hotels closed down, there is a great deal of British seasonal vegetables that were destined for the food service industry at risk of being wasted. Veg Power has been asked by the Cabinet Office and DEFRA to rally support and created the #SeasonalVeg campaign to inspire the UK to eat more seasonal vegetables.

Veg Power is mobilising food writers, chefs, nutritionists, retailers, box schemes, community groups, schools, local authorities and food lovers to advocate these seasonal veg on their blogs, tweets and communications. The premise is that together we can shift demand a little and save waste at this time of crisis in the food system.

The campaign hashtag is #SeasonalVeg, which Veg Power has chosen for its simplicity and brand neutrality.

The campaign will encourage all seasonal vegetables, but to help educate people as to what is in season, they’ll be highlighting the following vegetables at greater risk of being wasted:

w/c 1 June Asparagus

w/c 8 June Cucumber

w/c 15 June Mushrooms

w/c 22 June Leafy salads

w/c 29 June Courgette

w/c 6 July Spinach

w/c 13 July Tomatoes

w/c 20 July Radishes

w/c 27 July Beetroot

Veg Power, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, was founded by the Food Foundation, Sir John Hegarty, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Baroness Boycott to turn around vegetable consumption in the UK. Their core mission is to use advertising and communications to inspire kids to vegetable loving habits they will keep for life, and in turn share with their children.

#SeasonalVeg is a campaign to inspire the UK the eat more seasonal vegetables. The campaign is led by VegPower and supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).


Day of Celebration and Action!

Today, Sustainable Food Places and its network of 60 local food partnerships, supported by over 30 food and farming organisations, academics and experts, wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick. The letter asks Government to recognise the vital work of local food partnerships during Covid-19 and to support one food partnership in every local area in the UK.

This direct appeal to Government is part of the Sustainable Food Places Day of Celebration and Action which also includes members contacting their MPs to highlight their local efforts and a celebration of the vital role of food partnerships happening on twitter under #goodfoodtogether #foodpartnership.

Download the letter here

If you are part of, or have worked with, a local food partnership, we are asking you to share what you’re most proud of in working to create a better food system for everyone in these challenging times. Post on social media one thing you are really proud of about your local food partnership’s work. Use the hashtags #goodfoodtogether #foodpartnership and tag @FoodCities, @MHCLG, @RobertJenrick, your local food partnership and local authority to spread the word on social media and help increase our reach.

If you are not part of a local food partnership, sign up to their newsletter and get in touch to find out how your local area can join. 

While the government was quick to identify 2.2 million clinically vulnerable people as eligible for food parcel deliveries, thousands of low-income Britons fell through the cracks and soon found that emergency responses had left them behind. Empty supermarket shelves, food shortages and oversubscribed online delivery services soon compounded the isolation, until their neighbours stepped in. Communities, councils and local businesses came together to ensure continued supply of healthy, local food to those most in need. Community responses have been a life-line for thousands of vulnerable Britons who continue to rely on these local networks.

But now that the lockdown is easing, Sustainable Food Places fears that support for emergency food systems currently in place – including local council responses and government food parcels – will progressively wane, while the demand for food from vulnerable people will remain and could even increase.

Get tweeting!! Tweet ideas for you to use; and don’t forget the hastags!

Cast your net wide and tag @FoodCities, @MHCLG, @RobertJenrick, your local food partnership and local authority to spread the word on social media and help increase our reach. Tag other local organisations and stakeholders you work with.

Use the hashtags #goodfoodtogether #foodpartnership

  1. Local Food Partnerships play a vital role, not just in the current crisis. Check @FoodCities letter to Secretary of State @MHCLG @RobertJenrick asking for support to 1 #foodpartnership in every local area #goodfoodtogether
  2. Today June 10th @FoodCities wrote to Secretary of State @MHCLG @RobertJenrick asking for support to 1 #foodpartnership in every local area #goodfoodtogether
  3. Local Food Partnerships have been a lifeline for 1000s of vulnerable people across the UK during #Covid19 and need to be better supported. Check @FoodCities letter to Secretary of State @MHCLG @RobertJenrick asking for support to 1 #foodpartnership in every local area #goodfoodtogether
  4. Feeling very proud to have worked alongside [local partners handles] to provide residents of [your place] with [outcome of your project – include numbers where possible] @FoodCities #foodpartnership #goodfoodtogether @[your local authority / your local DPH]
  5. We’re celebrating the incredible solidarity shown by the organisations and people of [your place] working with the #localfoodpartnership @FoodCities to respond to the #Covid19 crisis. Thank you [local partners handles / local authority / DPH]. Take a look at [your project name / weblink].

Guidance on Cooked Food During Covid

Here are our guidelines on providing cooked food for people during Covid.

Guidance on cooked food during COVID 19


Emergency Food Response – Food Quality Statement

During the lockdown GCDA have been working with Greenwich Council to ensure that good quality healthy food is delivered to those who need it.  If you’d like to know more about supporting these efforts please read the following statement.

Food response food quality statement


Eating Well in Lockdown

At Good Food in Greenwich we support people to eat healthy food.  The quarantine has made this complicated at times so we’ve written an article with some really simple advice about how to eat well in lock-down.

If it could be of use to you check it out here Eating well in lockdown.




Good Food in Greenwich Network Meeting

We’re delighted to announce our upcoming Good Food in Greenwich Network Meeting.

This free online event will be held on Wednesday the 10th of June from 10am – 11.30am.

To register please email or click here.

Now in it’s 6th year, Good Food in Greenwich has been working across the borough with the council, businesses, third sector and individuals to bring good, fair food to all. We are aiming for the prestigious Sustainable Food Cities Silver Award this year, so join us to find out more about what this means, and how we can achieve it together. We also want to hear from you! What have you been up to over the past 2 months? How have you coped? Have you been working in food in any way? We want to know!

We look forward to seeing you there.


Independent Food Business Network Virtual Lunch

We’re pleased to announce our Independent Food Business Network Virtual Lunch taking place on Thursday the 4th of June from 1pm to 2.30pm. 

This free, on-line event is hosted by GCDA.  Kate Howell the Communications & Development Manager of Borough Market and Greenwich Environmental Health will be presenting. 

Running a business is hard at the best of times and especially so at the moment.  This meeting is a chance for us to come together and support each other through this challenging time. 

The lunch is for any independent food businesses. We’ll hear how food businesses are adapting to the current situation and there will be space for you to share how your business has been affected and how you are responding. 

We will also discuss resources available to food businesses.  

You can book here or email Christina at

We hope to see you there. 



A big thanks to the volunteers at WCCC

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Woolwich Common Community Centre to see the emergency box scheme in operation and speak to some of the amazing volunteers. 

Every Monday a huge delivery of 16 pallets of fresh and dried food arrives which the volunteers unpack and organise.  The food is then made up into boxes which are delivered to those who need them throughout the borough. 

A spreadsheet on the wall indicated that the programme had so far delivered over 1500 food boxes since the start of the quarantine. 

I was interested to hear from the volunteers about the work and why they chose to spend their time here. 

I spoke to Neil who had been volunteering his time here for 4 weeks.  He said that he volunteered because he felt it was important for the community to come together to help each other out during this difficult time.   

His previous work was as an engineer in packaging logistics and production lines.  He had clearly applied his expertise well judging on how smoothly the operation was running. 

Next I met Chris who is a Greenwich Counsellor who had been volunteering for one week.  He explained that he had recently been furloughed from his job and with a smile added that he “was looking for an alternative to being at home playing with my cat!”   

He said he enjoyed helping people and was encouraged by how many people were offering to volunteer during this time of need.  He reflected that it was also good for his mental health to get out of the house and be doing something productive. 

Finally I met a mother and daughter combo who were sorting fresh vegetables into boxes.  Alison, the mother works part time as a solicitor and helps out at the box scheme on her days off.  She said it was nice to get out of the house and enjoy some human interaction during the quarantine and that it was fulfilling to see how much the box scheme helped people. 

Her daughter Anna said she had found it boring being at home all the time, something I’m sure many of us can relate to, and that coming into volunteer broke up the day.  Normally she worked for a beer specialist in central London so she was happy to carry stock and was willing to do hard work. 

Speaking to the volunteers reminded me that in volunteering everyone is a winner.  The recipients of the deliveries benefit enormously as the box scheme ensures they have enough food to eat delivered straight to their doors. 

The volunteers also benefit from the work.  They enjoy the social contactgetting out of the house and the feel good factor which comes with helping others.  They all said they felt better because of it and it was good for their mental health. 

It was a pleasure to see the box scheme production line in action and meet some of the volunteers.  A huge thank you to everyone who has helped out in the quest to get food to everyone who needs it in the borough.