Neighbourhood Nosh is an initiative started by the Primrose Hill Community Association which aims to deliver to our local sheltered housing block, Oldfield, and serve those who come from Chalk Farm Foodbank with a meal made from fresh ingredients by chef JC, ex of L’Absinthe. We began distributing meals on 12 November.
Our aims are
- To improve the diet of people who find it hard to cook from scratch with fresh food
- To serve those in food poverty
- To give people really tasty plant-based meals, moving away from a meat centred diet
- To give some ideas for good food on a budget
- To make constructive use of donated food and produce that might otherwise be wasted
- To bring the community together by using volunteers and helping them to learn new skills
Our group of organisers might be called a ‘dream team’ with skills in so many areas which they have put to use, managing our wonderful volunteers, sourcing food, liaising with other groups and great chopping veg abilities to name a few.
Local shops and businesses have been super helpful: special thanks to Phil at Yeomans, Andy at Primrose Hill Butchers and Zam at the Post Office, as well as Greenberry, Ben’s, Shepherds and Morrisons.
And when we decided to fill in for the Foodbank during the Christmas break we were overwhelmed with generosity – over £2000 raised, and so many donations of food and other gifts. One thoughtful donor gave 14 shopping trolleys which were very much appreciated.
We gave out 170 bags of food and were able to let people pick from the fresh produce, treats and presents that we had been given. Primrose Hill Books subsidised us to give away nearly 60 new books to children, it was a special pleasure to see them choosing what they wanted from our selection.
We asked no questions, apart from ‘How did you hear about us?’, but heard some sad stories. We delivered to some families who were isolating or unable to get to us through illness.
Over last weekend we sourced food and snacks for the doctors and volunteers at our local vaccination centre, a last-minute request to which many helpers responded, along with a delicious contribution from Helen Tyndale of the Nice Green Cafe. And via LB Camden’s ‘Time to Spare’ network we have just been asked to support some of the people who are usually fed through Castlehaven Community Centre’s Food Hub, which is temporarily closed because of Covid.
Of course we are working in as Covid safe way as possible, both in and outside the centre.
Can you help?
We make around 50 meals and are looking at how we can expand as demand increases, we are limited by the small kitchen at the centre – if anyone has access to a commercial kitchen we could use do get in touch. Likewise, if you know anyone who would appreciate a meal, or you would like to join in as a volunteer please email us on [email protected]
If you could make a donation to help with the costs of the project, please go to www.phca.cc/donate
Neighbourhood Nosh aims to respond to needs as they arise, and to be a way in which neighbours can help neighbours – in the present situation we never know when we might need help, and who may be able to offer it in return.
JC’s Quick Soup for Neighbourhood Nosh