Community News

Help get food to those in Clerkenwell who need it this winter

New food initiative Clerkenwell Ready Meals & Food Co- operative will help get food to those who need it this winter

By EC1 Echo

A potato shaped like a heart
Photo by blackieshoot on Unsplash

With the cost of living crisis, basic foodstuffs are becoming harder to afford. In light of this, a new campaign is being launched aiming to reduce food insecurity in Clerkenwell and to give every resident the opportunity to have good nutritious food every day.

The campaign, called Clerkenwell Ready Meals & Food Co-operative will be steered by The Peel and aims to encourage local catering businesses (including organisations that prepare food for their staff) to donate cooked meals to local residents. These meals will be distributed to local residents by identifiable people who know and support them, especially local tenants management organisations (TMOs) and estate managers. The campaign will also invite other relevant organisations including schools, faith centres and other organisations to help residents and assist with the logistics.

The campaign is reaching out to local businesses to do one of more of the following things:

  • Commit to donating a certain number of meals every day
  • Organise collection of local meals from organisations and forward to local distribution points (TMO/estate offices or The Peel
  • Organise fundraising activities and other efforts to support the initiatives.
  • Provide information to affected residents to help them reduce their food insecurity and improve  their wellbeing.

The Food Co-operative aspect of the campaign will distribute food donated or purchased at discount, and sell it on to local residents with the benefits of that subsidy.  All proceeds will be reinvested into the Co-operative, which will identify organisations that can donate or subsidise raw food and arrange dates for delivery to a specific distribution point in Clerkenwell. As part of the arrangement they would:

  • Sell the food required to local residents
  • Deliver packs of food to identified residents with mobility issues 
  • Minimise wastage by donating anything left at the end of the day to local homeless charities and hostels and other relevant bodies

To do this, the Campaign is seeking willing donors of food from local businesses, volunteers, and organisations to be distribution points for ready meals and of the food co-operative, as well as pro-bono or subsidised support from local businesses. 

“It is a travesty 2022 so many families in Clerkenwell don’t know where their next meal will be coming from,” says Arvinda Gohil, Chair of Trustees at The Peel. “It has been an important mission of The Peel since its inception 125 years ago to do all we can to ensure that we can do all we can to eradicate this element of poverty.  To this end, we look forward to putting our own resources into this initiative, and also working with other partners to make sure that, starting from this winter, every family in  our community has the food they need.”

If you or your organisation would be interested in contributing to this effort, please contact The Peel at [email protected] or on 020 837 6082.

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