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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. 

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Staying active during lockdown!

So, you’re stuck indoors all day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be active! We know how important physical activity is for not only our poor bodies, but for our mental health too. And at a time like this, it’s even more important to keep that activity going.  So, GCDA have devised a sheet giving you lots of ideas for how to stay active during this time at home and that exercise all the muscle groups; so, have a read and get active!

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Growing Food in Greenwich

One of the happiest moments of my life was when I harvested my first home grown pumpkin.  It was an absolute beauty, golden in colour and about 10kg in weight.  Since then I have had the same happiness from bounteous harvests of tomatoes, chilli peppers, potatoes, courgette, lettuce and other amazing vegetables.

I became interested in growing my own food largely from an ecological perspective.  I’d lived in the country and been dismayed to see tractors spraying acres and acres of land with toxic chemicals.  I didn’t really want those chemicals in my body and I didn’t want them on the earth. 

Growing your own food is a great way to increase sustainability.  It cuts down on the transport pollution needed when bringing food in from all over the world.  It reduces plastic packaging and eliminates preservatives needed to keep shop bought produce from deteriorating. 

As I started gardening and reading more about it the mental and physical benefits became clear.  It felt so good to be in nature, with my hands in the soil and tending a vegetable garden.  It boosted my mood to see all the crops growing nicely anto anticipate the delicious harvests to come. 

For physical benefits gardening is very good exercise.  Digging and moving compost around is a great workout.  Also there is nothing like being outside breathing in the fresh air to promote good health. 

Growing your own food makes it easier to eat more vegetables.  Home grown vegetables undoubtedly taste much better than shop bought.  The current recommendation is to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.  When you’re harvesting baskets of fresh salad, beans, tomatoes and more it is a pleasure to eat so much fresh produce. 

If youre pulling your hair out because your kids won’t go near a vegetable then growing your own could be the answer.  It’s a great way to get them involved and they may be more interested in sampling something they’ve planted and nurtured themselves! 

The other great benefit of home growing is that you can choose your own varieties to grow which adds a whole lot of interest.  One of my loves, for example, is to grow chilli peppers.  When you grow your own you can grow amazing varieties that you would never find in the shops. 

Finally, and without wanting to get too serious I think we all got a bit of a shock going into the supermarkets recently and seeing the shelves empty.  This highlighted that in times of crisis food security becomes foremost in our minds.  To improve access to food during times of crisis, for individuals and nationally, it makes sense for many more of us to grow our own food. 

I hope I’ve convinced you that growing your own is a good idea for your physical and mental health as well as for the health of the environment.   

 

If so let’s look at ways that you can get started.  The first way I would recommend is our very own Growing Greenwich programme.  We have several sites around the Borough of Greenwich where you can learn about growing and get some practical experience under the guidance of Kevin, our friendly and professional grower. 

Another option is to get an allotment.  Allotments have been a very popular way to grow food since the second world war and food rationing.  Nowadays they provide a place for city dwellers to find some peace in natural beauty and grow some fresh produce at the same time.  To find out more and apply for an allotment visit here. 

Of course the best place to grow vegetables is in your back garden if you have one.  Even a small space of a few metres squared can produce a lot of food.  There are many ways to grow but here are a few places to start.  

Charles Dowding promotes an organic no dig method which is very good for maintaining and improving the health of the soil. 

Square foot gardening is a fun and efficient way to grow vegetables in a small area.

Finally even if you don’t have any earth to plant into container growing is an effective and enjoyable way to get going.

For seeds I usually advise not to buy from supermarkets or garden centres.  They can be very expensive and are often of low quality.  There’s nothing worse than going to all the trouble to prepare beds only for your seeds to fail. 

I would recommend buying seed from suppliers who provide for professional growers.  You can then be sure you are using the highest quality seeds.  I would recommend Moles seeds who have a great selection of organic and non-organic produce.  The Organic Gardening Catalogue has a great selection of organic seeds including interesting heirloom varieties. 

I hope there is something useful here to help you grow your own food.  At GCDA we love encouraging a healthier and more sustainable way of life.  Please share pics of your bounty with us on Twitter and Instagram #growingingreenwich 

 If we can be of further assistance, please let us know – you can email stuart@gcda.org.uk.   

Good luck with your growing!    

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Local Home Delivery Options

 

We want to draw your attention to the many amazing local businesses in Greenwich.  These businesses are committed to supplying great quality produce and delivering it straight to your door. 

With all of us either in quarantine or self-isolating, home delivery has become an essential means of receiving food.  Equally there are reports of many people being unable to get a home delivery slot with the supermarkets.  Plus many items are selling out in the big stores meaning there is no guarantee of getting what you need.  Because of this now is a great time to support the local suppliers within Greenwich. 

Thankfully Greenwich is blessed with countless local businesses providing exceptional produce who are currently running a home delivery service.

 

 

 

 

Ehla East Mediterranean street eats.

 

 

Its always been a great time to support the local suppliers.  Shopping locally is better for the environment, keeps money within the community, supports skilful artisans and offers higher quality and more interesting produce.  What’s more it helps to create and sustain a thriving, diverse and unique local Greenwich community. 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been championing our local suppliers who are doing home delivery on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  We’ve also published a list of many of the Greenwich businesses who are offering home delivery just now.

Gourmet Sausage Maker

 

Whether you’re after fresh vegetables, meat, take-away meals, groceries or a little wine to take the edge off after a trying day at home there is a local supplier who will deliver it straight to your door.  Please support these suppliers so theyll still be trading when we come out of quarantine. 

A healthy community depends on many local suppliers operating within Greenwich and their success improves the quality of life for all who live in this borough.

Please join us in supporting our local suppliers and if we have missed any from our list please let us know on our social media pages or by contacting us at christina@gcda.org.uk.

 

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One New Recipe A Week Challenge

While this is an extremely hard time for everyone it also feels like a time when new healthier habits can be formed.  With no restaurants open and more time at home it feels like a great opportunity to cook more meals from scratch with the Good Food in Greenwich one new recipe a week challenge.

Cooking a new meal is a great way to have fun on your own or with the family, learn a new skill and have the treat of a delicious, healthy meal to enjoy at the end of it.  

As part of the Good Food in Greenwich network, GCDA recommends trying to eat more veggies and beans, and maybe reducing the amount of meat we eat.  A plant based diet is more affordable, better for us and much better for the environment.  Eating 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day helps us all feel better physically and mentally both now and in the future. 

So why not use this time to commit to the challenge of trying at least one new recipe per week?  When the quarantine is over you will have several amazing new dishes in the repertoire to enjoy and to share with friends and family.  Please tag us and use the #GreenwichCooks and let us know how you get on!

 

 

Here are some sites which have great recipes to try.

The BBC has a great selection of recipes.

For the more experienced, or more adventurous try Ottolenghi  

Or try Jack Monore, Cooking on a Bootstrap – loads of great recipes you can make form store cupboard ingredients or bits and pieces that don’t cost the earth!

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GOOD FOOD IN GREENWICH NETWORK MEETING – CANCELLED

Sadly we have had to cancel next week’s network meeting, due to be held at Charlton House on Tuesday 24th March.

While we’re not meeting face to face, please keep an eye on this website and our social media platforms for ideas, inspiration and information!

As soon as we know, we will let you know when the next meeting will be.  Meanwhile, here’s a great recipe for a lovely warming vegetable and lentil soup!

 

 

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Community Meal CANCELLED

It is with great regret that we have to cancel the community meal tomorrow at Eltham Green Community Church to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Unfortunately the meals are suspended until further notice but we are working on ways to still be able to provide meals to those in need.  If you would like to know more, please get in touch with mel@gcda.org.uk

Thank you for your continued support and stay safe everyone

The GFIG team

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The next Good Food in Greenwich Pop-up Kitchen is coming!

The next Good Food in Greenwich Pop-up Kitchen is coming!

20th February at Mycenae House from 1pm – 3pm and everyone is welcome.   These community meals have been running for over a year now and we’ve served over 1000 people 2.1 tonnes of food that would otherwise have gone to waste! We collect food from FareShare and, with the help of some amazing volunteers, cook up a load of delicious dishes to share with the local community.

Everyone is welcome; the more the merrier, and it’s a great chance to meet neighbours and commune over fantastic food.

So, join us on Thursday 20th February from 1pm – 3pm to enjoy a delicious dinner and make new friends! If you’d like to get involved as a volunteer, please contact nicola.nzuza@royalgreenwch.gov.uk for more information

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Cookery Clubs in Greenwich this March!

Are you interested in learning some new recipes, making new friends and becoming healthier to boot?

If so, then the cookery clubs are for you!

GCDA run 50, 5-week Community Cookery Clubs each year throughout the borough that are open to the public. The clubs run in all different parts of the borough in community venues and are open to all.

The focus is on making small changes that can have a big impact on your health such as measuring your salt and oil so you can start reducing it, or finding easy ways to try to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, making simple swaps to help reduce the amount of sugar you consume and loads of tips and ideas to help reduce waste and save money. All the ingredients and equipment are included and participants who attend at least 4 of the 5 weeks will receive a fabulous recipe book to help them continue their journey at home.

Although the clubs do focus on healthy eating messages, they’re really about informing people and giving people the skills and knowledge to make choices themselves. But, the best thing is that becoming healthier is just ONE of the benefits. Participants report many great benefits from attending the clubs including meeting new people, being more social and becoming more active.

To find out more or to book, please call 0800 470 4831 to find your nearest venue.

Alternatively, click here to see the next round of venues, days and times.

What you need to know:

  • The cookery clubs are free!
  • They run for 5 weeks (2 ½ hours per week) – see here for details
  • They include a week learning how to grow food
  • They are open to everyone, from complete beginners to experienced cooks
  • All equipment, ingredients and aprons are provided
  • They are a great way to meet new people
  • You can learn about healthy eating and practical cooking skills
  • Participants will receive a free cookery book on completion of the course
  • You must book a place on the course 0800 470 4831