We believe that no one should go hungry or be lonely. This is especially true during the winter, when the cold weather and darker nights can negatively impact mental health. We provide weekly healthy and hot meals in communities in South London. Anyone is welcome at our Canteens, but we particularly target those on a low income, elderly or in recovery. The Canteens reduce loneliness and social isolation by creating safe spaces where people can come together, share a meal, and build community.
In England 8 million people wake up each day not knowing where their next meal is coming from. In South London this is as many as 1 in 3 adults, who are living below the breadline. Over 10,000 children wake up each morning and go to school without breakfast and go without meals during the holidays. 79% of elderly people miss meals regularly because they are unable to afford food or are suffering from ill health and can not travel to the shops.
Be Enriched's projects provide a safe place for people to come together, cook and share a meal. Our projects are open to everyone, providing an opportunity to build cohesion and friendship which are the cornerstones of a fruitful and lasting community. Our projects are run in partnership with the community, so we are able to target the people who need help the most. We provide a place to bring people in from the cold, build community, share a meal, and reduce loneliness.
Our projects provide a free, healthy and nutritious meal for up to 250 people per week, mainly sourced from surplus. We often have extra food left over to send families home with, which can feed them for a few more meals. Many of our guests are regulars, and some have become volunteers. We plan to open at least two more Canteens in 2020, with the potential to expand further.