Social isolation and hunger are very real problems in the UK and are particularly evident during the Christmas holidays. By hosting a number of community canteens across South London, in which all members of society are invited to share a Christmas meal and socialise together, we aim to reduce this problem and help give people the best Christmas possible.
Social isolation and food poverty are very real issues within the UK and the elderly, those with physical and mental health problems and families from impoverished backgrounds are amongst the most vulnerable. In a country that prides itself on access to food, water and education for all, the number of people living below the breadline is staggeringly high. This cannot go on and this project brings together this group to gain access to food and safe spaces, especially over the holiday period.
No one should spend Christmas time alone. Last year more than 40% of people at our Christmas Canteens had no one to share this time of giving with. Together we can change this. Our canteens provide a safe space in which all community members are welcome to come and share a meal together. We're providing an opportunity for people to get together, make and share cards, give gifts and enjoy the joy Christmas can bring. We're reducing loneliness and isolation.
Our projects work with up to 150 people each week providing them with a source of free healthy nutritious food, mainly sourced from surplus, which enables many families to eat for the rest of the week. With more funding we can provide these individuals with cooking lessons, enabling families and children to eat well for a lifetime. As well as this, we would also be able to hire larger community spaces to host our canteens and therefore reach a wider group of individuals.