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Good Food in Greenwich needs you!

Network Meeting; 11th December, 10 – 12 at Artfix, Powis Street, Woolwich

Good Food in Greenwich is a partnership bringing together people, organisations and businesses across the borough to help build a better food system.  We’ve got loads going on, but need more people to get involved and help shape and share the love.  We host quarterly network meetings which are open to everyone who has an interest in food in the borough, in any way!

This month we’re going to be discussing some of the campaigns we’d like to get involved in such as the VEG CITIES campaign, and think about ways to spread the word and get people involved.  We’re also looking to get more local events signed up to Good Food in Greenwich so there is a great, fair, sustainable, healthy offer at every event.

There will also be updates and opportunities to network with other fabulous people….. oh and lunch of course!

So, if you’d like to come, please let mel@gcda.org.uk know so we know how many people to cater for.

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VEG CITIES Campaign!

VEG CITIES is a feature campaign of Sustainable Food Cities, led by Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative. The aim of VEG CITIES is really simple – to increase the availability and consumption of vegetables. We can achieve this in loads of different ways and currently GCDA delivers wholesale fruit and veg to children’s centres, a primary school and community centre around the borough. These stalls are run by the children’s centres and offer really affordable produce.  We’re currently shifting over 600kg of fruit and veg a week!  However, there’s still much more to do.  With only about 25% of the UK population eating the recommended 5 a day, we could all do with getting some extra veg in us!  There are loads of ways to get involved and we’d love to hear from you about what you’re doing!

So, if you serve food to anyone at all, could you add a portion of veg to the meal? Or, do you spend time with people who you could talk to about increasing fruit and veg? Could you promote more veg in your setting, or maybe even grow your own?  GCDA and Good Food in Greenwich can support you with all these things so please get in touch! These small changes can add up to make a real difference to peoples’ health.  Please email mel@gcda.org.uk to get involved and tell us what you’re doing!

If you’d like to find out about running your own fruit and veg stall, please contact Livia@gcda.org.uk and if you’d like to visit the stalls, they run in the following places on a Tuesday – and they also take Healthy Start vouchers!

·    Mulgrave Children’s Centre, Rectory Place, Woolwich, SE18 5DA

·    Foxfield Primary School, 2 Sandbach Pl, Woolwich, London SE18 7EX

·    Pound Park Children’s Centre, Pound Park Rd, London SE7 8AF

·    Eglinton Children’s Centre, Paget Rise, Woolwich, London SE18 3PY

·    Greenacres Children’s Centre, Witherston Way, London SE9 3JN

·    Waterways Children’s Centre, Southwood Rd, Thamesmead, London SE28 8EZ

·    Woolwich Common Community Centre, Leslie Smith Square, Woolwich, London SE18 4DW

Or download the list here

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Holiday Meal Provision this Christmas!

Sadly, the issue of holiday hunger is growing.  There are over 16,500 children living in low income houses, many of which could be at risk of food poverty.  Whilst many of these children might get a free school meal during term time, families can struggle during the holidays to put enough food on the table.  Over the past 3 years, GCDA along with partners GLL, CACT Youth Services and the Royal Borough of Greenwich have been providing food at adventure playgrounds and youth centres during the holidays to hopefully offer an opportunity to have a healthy, delicious meal for free, so relieving some of the pressure for these families. We centrally produce the food and deliver it to the venues where volunteers and staff heat it up and serve it.  This past summer we extended the provision to 2 community centres – Woolwich Common and Clockhouse, and, funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and GLL, we served an incredible 4,500 meals at 10 venues over the 6 weeks.

The council also funded provision over the October half term and are keen to keep this going over the Christmas holidays. However, many of the venues we’ve used will not be open over the Christmas period, so we are looking for organisations, schools, community centres or anywhere else that will be open and would like to offer food to families.  If you have a space and would like to offer food during the holidays, please contact mel@gcda.org.uk to find out more.

We have also created a ‘How to Guide’ for setting up a holiday meals club with loads of information about how to get something set up.  You can download the guide here and flow chart to find the best model for you here

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New Food Skills Training with GCDA!

GCDA is delighted to be able to offer a range of brand new courses for people setting up a food business, or looking for work in the catering industry. They have run a 10-week Food Business Start-up course for the past 2 years and have seen amazing successes from previous participants including Wolfes Shrubs, Free Wheelin’ Pizza, What’s New Pop-up, Hanks Po Boys and many more!  However, many of the people coming on the training had some skills gaps, specifically certain culinary skills such as plant-based cooking, gluten and dairy free and catering for other dietary requirements, and it turns out that loads of people wanted to learn how to be able to use knives properly, or needed more IT skills to be able to run the business better. So, GCDA have answered these calls by putting on a variety of new training courses including Knife Skills (3 week course), Culinary Skills for Food Trends (4 week course) and IT skills for Business (6 week course). You can find out more about the training by following the links above, but the dates are as follows:

Knife Skills – Mondays starting 26th November for 3 weeks, 10 – 2 (includes ingredients and a meal together each week)

This course will cover essentials of knife care, sharpening and handling, the many different types of cut there are, boning a chicken and filleting fish.  You will have the opportunity to practise all these techniques whilst making a delicious meal to eat together at the end of the session

IT Skills for Business – Fridays starting 11th January for 6 weeks

There is so much to think about when running a business, and having sufficient IT skills is absolutely crucial to be able to run a successful business. This 6-week course will give you an excellent grounding in these essential skills. We will cover Excel and how to use it to manage your finances; social media and how to use it to maximise your business potential, online tools and apps that will help you run a more successful business, data protection and privacy rules.

Culinary Skills for Food Trends – Wednesdays starting 23rd January for 4 weeks (includes ingredients and a meal together each week)

Adult learning fees do apply, but we also have a hardship fund, so please don’t let payment be a barrier – just get in touch and talk to us! Call Edina on 0208 2694885 or email edina@gcda.org.uk

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Get Cooking with GCDA!

There’s no better way of getting to know people than cooking and eating together. Food helps break down social barriers and combats loneliness, whilst a nutritious diet can be one of the main cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle alongside regular exercise. It’s for these reasons that GCDA has been running free weekly Cookery Clubs across Greenwich and Lewisham for many years now, with the clubs in both boroughs funded by the councils’ Public Health departments.  The aims of the clubs are to increase participants’ awareness of healthy eating and to develop the skills required to prepare meals using affordable, easily accessible ingredients, without the need for a kitchen full of the latest gadgets!  

Typically, the Cookery Clubs are run in community venues and are open to everyone, regardless of previous ability or experience. You’ll find 60 clubs running across Greenwich per year in 5-week blocks, with up to 12 participants taking part each time. In addition, GCDA can also tailor an offer for individual groups and organisations – they’ve previously worked with Age Concern, Nepalese groups, Army families and older residents in supported housing 

The tutors are trained and experiences, so you know that you’re learning from the best. Many started out attending Cookery Clubs themselves and loved the experience so much that they decided to specialise and train as tutors themselves!  

And as for results? Well they speak for themselves, last year GCDA ran 82 Cookery Clubs and reached a total of 762 people. Nearly half said they’d increased the number of meals they cooked from scratch and when

it came to eating more healthily, there were real improvements too: 55% of participants reported an increase in the amount of fruit and veg they eat, 43% had cut down on sugary drinks, 65% measured the oil they used in their food and 42% had started measuring salt when cooking. 

Mel Taylor, the cookery club programme manager said “The cookery clubs are a real asset to the borough, and GCDA feels incredibly privileged to run them.  The impact we see at every club includes healthier behaviours, but the social benefit that people report has made a real impression and we feel incredibly privileged run these clubs in Greenwich and Lewisham.”   

But the best testimonials come from those who actually attend the clubs 

“The tutor is brilliant. She has given me confidence and is kind and really knowledgeable.” – John from Glyndon club 

“I love the course! I’m getting loads of new knowledge and the social interaction is great; it’s wonderful meeting people from other cultures” – Mary from Trinity club 

“I’m more confident in cooking, chopping and reading labels, thank you so much for this great course!” – Surjit from GCDA club 

 

If you’d like to come to one of GCDA’s cookery clubs you can see all the venues, days and times here and call 0800 4704831, or you’d like to commission a bespoke offering for your organisation then please contact fay@gcda.org.uk  

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Surplus Feast 1st December, 12 – 6, General Gordon Square

Bringing people together to fill bellies, not bins

We are delighted to announce that we are hosting another Surplus Feast as part of the Woolwich Winter Warmer on 1st December in General Gordon Square

According to the UN, about a third of the food produced for human consumption is either wasted or lost. This is roughly 1.3 billion tonnes EVERY YEAR!  To give you an idea of the scale, just 1 quarter of this food could feed 870 million people.  There’s been loads of awareness around food waste recently, but there’s still way too much perfectly good food going in the bin.

Using surplus food from the wonderful FareShare, who re-distribute surplus food from the food industry before it’s even reached the supermarket floor, and Plan Zheroes who work with Borough Market, and Paul Rhodes Bakery, who donate all their surplus bread, we’ll be cooking up a storm to serve to the hungry public.    This will be our 5th feast and at the last one we served over 700 meals, so we will need help.  Gerneal Gordon Square

 

Are you passionate about reducing food waste, want to spend your Saturday doing something extra specially wonderful and feel like a complete hero?? Then join us!  We’re looking for volunteers to come along, chop, cook and generally have a great time with us, whilst raising awareness of the issues of food waste in the city.

It’s a great opportunity to get involved in this wonderful borough and the amazing work of Good Food in Greenwich!

So, interested in volunteering with us?? Please get in touch with mel@gcda.org.uk to find out more!

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Volunteering with GCDA

Whether you’re interested in food, gardening, health or business, GCDA would love you to get involved in our many programmes across Greenwich, Lewisham and further afield.  We run cookery clubs, skills workshops, market stalls and growing projects as well as co-ordinate the Good Food in Greenwich partnership, the Lewisham Food Partnership, the BE Inspired programme in Lewisham and the Healthier Catering Commitment.

With so much going on, there are loads of opportunities to do something, and not only will you benefit others but hopefully you’ll learn new skills yourself and meet a bunch of friendly, like-minded people! We’re particularly interested in meeting anyone who’d like to volunteer on food-based projects, help us conduct research, or even lend us a hand with our communications. 

But, if you’d just like to know more, then come along, have something delicious to eat, meet the team and hear other volunteers talk about their experiences. We’d love to have you on board!

Below is a list of all the opportunities we have with links to more information about what they entail.  If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact livia@gcda.org.uk or the contact on the linked sheets below