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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 christina@gcda.org.uk

We hope to see you there. 

 

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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. 

   

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World Disco Soup Day

Being a big fan of disco’s, at least I was 20 years ago, and of soup, I was very excited to hear of World Disco Soup Day. 

I was even more interested when I heard about their ethos.  They want to raise awareness about food waste in as positive a way as possible. 

In a nutshell they save food that would otherwise have been wasted from supermarkets, restaurants and farms.  This food is then used to prepare an enormous pot of soup which is served to eager participants. 

All this is done to the backdrop of food inspired music and lots of dancing.  Hence Disco Soup Day! 

Every year 30 percent of the food produced is wasted worldwide.  This is clearly disturbing given how many people go to bed hungry at night. 

Since the first World Disco Soup day the group have saved over 50,000 KG of food from landfill and turned it into many thousands of meals for people to enjoy. 

While doing this they have brought people together, created a lot of joy and raised awareness of a very serious issue. 

World Soup Disco Day has passed for another year but we encourage you to do your own by trying this wonderful soup and enjoying the music.  Perhaps you could invite friends and family to do it together on Zoom. 

At Good Food in Greenwich we have ran very similar projects.  We run twice yearly outdoors surplus feasts cooking 350kg food to give away to 500 people.  Since November 2018 we have run monthly community meals feeding 60 – 100 people using nothing but surplus from Fareshare. 

Keep an eye on our website and social media feeds to see when these events resume after the quarantine. 

If you’re interested in reducing waste and redistributing food which would otherwise be thrown out have a look at these great websites. 

https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ 

https://fareshare.org.uk/  

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Woolwich Common Box Scheme

Before the Covid-19 quarantine the Woolwich Common Community Centre was lively centre running activities for locals such as Tai Chi, boxing clubs, dance workshops and woman’s groups.  These activities are currently not running but the centre has found an important new way to serve the community during lock-down. 

In response to the food crisis sparked by the quarantine the centre has become a hub for getting food to the most vulnerable members of the community.   

A partnership between the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council, Charlton Athletic Community Trust and Greenwich Cooperative Development Agencyalong with a team of amazing volunteers, has established and now run a food box delivery scheme to deliver food to those in need. 

Residents who are vulnerable or self-isolating and don’t have anyone who can support them to get shopping can call Live Well Greenwich for support from 8.30am to 6pm, on: 0800 470 4831.  They can then be referred to the box scheme and receive a delivery. 

Each delivery consists of three boxes.  One box contains a beautiful selection of vegetables, one contains supplies of fresh meat and dairy products and the other dried goods.  Each delivery is designed to feed an individual for 2 weeks or a family for 1 week and a veggie alternative is available  

At time of writing over 1500 boxes of food have been delivered by this service around the borough. 

If you or anyone you know requires support with access to food please call 0800 470 4831.  

Good Food in Greenwich really welcomes this incredible response and are committed to ensure that everyone has access to enough healthy food now and always.