Peter Bradley - Cookery Leader at Finsbury Park FoodCycle
City Harvest has delivered 65,319 tonnes of food = 227k meals
Preventing 248 tonnes of greenhouse gases
Retail Value : £293, 321
City Harvest has delivered free food to 6 FoodCycle locations for many years, saving the charity money that can be spent on other services for its guests.
Peter explains, “FoodCycle Finsbury Park is not a soup kitchen, it's much more. We believe our guests deserve fine dining.”
Fine dining need not be difficult if you are shown how to use the fresh fruit & veg. Foodcycle does this now with recipe cards which they put in with food parcels to help inspire people to cook.
The food we receive from City Harvest is great, we can cook anything you throw at us. We like a challenge and it is fun getting our deliveries to see what menu our team of volunteers will create.
FoodCycle community meals are cooked by volunteers, “We have such a cosmopolitan group of guests and volunteers – our guests love the variety of food we cook for them. Our volunteers love learning new cuisines, and have served: Peruvian, Columbian, Moroccan, Mexican, and Japanese cuisine.
People love our meals as they never know what they are going to get. We pride ourselves on producing great food, there is even a bit of competition between other FoodCycles!”
"You can eat cheaply and healthily with a little imagination - for some, it's the first time they have five fruits and veg in their diets."
Peter talks about who comes to FoodCycle community meals, and from our own experience, it is a real blend of people, who are all there for varying reasons. “Our guests vary, lots from the local council estate, hostel goers, senior citizens who are not facing food poverty, but who are lonely. There is no judgment here– the meals are for everyone. Although we are doing take away meals everyone is missing the personal interaction.”
We are getting more key workers who can’t feed the family at the end of the week, and single parents with children they struggle to feed.
Prior to lockdown, FoodCycle served 70 meals a week. At present, they deliver 60 food parcels per week. 2-3 volunteers come in on Saturday who bags up food and distributes to a list of people on the estate. Peter explained, “We also call people to check-in. Keeping the human connections and companionship there is so vital and a little goes a long way.”
On the estate, we have found a number of families who really appreciate the fresh fruit for their children, so we put things aside and make sure we keep that in mind when putting food bags together.
Peter told us there was a lady who came, and they were the first people she had spoken to in 2 weeks since her daughter had left for university. There is a lot of loneliness and hopelessness out there for so many, food is the cornerstone of all human connections.
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