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December 2022 Good Food Lewisham Newsletter: Winter Solstice Special

Thanks to everyone who’s been involved in Good Food Lewisham in 2022. We’ve achieved a lot and looking forward to getting on with more in 2023. Merry Solstice and Christmas to all and Happy New Year for 2023.

The next Good Food Lewisham Steering Group meeting will be on Monday 9th January. If you have ideas for what you’d like us to focus on in 2023 or if you’d like to join the SG, do let us know.

If you haven’t already seen the Christmas provision list we’ve been working on with Community Connections Lewisham, please take a look. There are free Christmas meals happening over the next week. This has been a very popular resource so far.

We’ve been working on mapping and connecting Lewisham’s Warm Welcome Spaces. Some of these are already open and some are opening in early January. Some will have free food. We’re going to make a new version of the flyer/poster in the new year once we have all the information. If you’re interested in volunteering at one of these, please email us on:


Thanks to all the food projects who sent in their changed times over the Christmas/winter period, which can be found in our Christmas list.

Community festive meals have been taking place in December. For example, at St. Peter’s food bank in Brockley, Reheboth food project in Sydenham and Catford Soup Kitchen.

Community Meal at St. Peter's Brockley on 21st December

On December 19th, Rehoboth Community Outreach Club hosted their annual Community Christmas Dinner, where they celebrated with the local communities in the London Borough of Lewisham and those from neighbouring Boroughs who came.

“It was a wonderful occasion as we got the opportunity to meet new faces, see familiar faces, and watch as the communities came together in love and unity. New friendships were formed as they shared laughter and meals together. We love being a part of the ‘change’ that we want to see happening in our communities to end isolation and loneliness. Today the community of Sydenham was filled with laughter, love and joy in the atmosphere and we are proud to bring people together in unity. - Paula Litchmore (Founder & Chair)”

Making food at Reheboth on Monday 19th December

HAF have just today finished making 580 meals over four days for children, with a youth team made up of five people all paid the London Living Wage.

Some of the meals made in the HAF programme 19th - 22nd December

In mid October we had our second GFL quarterly network meeting of the year. We enjoyed a ‘Cook and Share’. Break out discussion groups included warm welcome spaces, free school meals and the different ways that food giving projects are organised, such as food bank or social supermarket. We’ve been taking action on all of these areas since. We also had an explanation about the bring and share at Stanstead Lodge where everyone buys one £1 bowl from a local market, then shares these out so people get a variety of items. We took this to the weekly Tea and Chat with Rushey Green Time Bank and people liked it and are hoping to do one in January.

Together with Lewisham Homes, we’re organising a peer-to-per round table in January for food giving projects to support each other (see events below).

Right to Food London and others have been working hard on the Lewisham Free School Meals campaign. See their inspiring video and please sign the petition and let other people know about it.

The Food Justice Action Plan will be launched in January.

We’ve been distributing the updated Worrying About Money? Leaflets, thanks to our volunteers. We still have some at our offices at PLACE/Ladywell if groups want to collect some. The online version is available here.


We are very pleased with how the foraging activities in October went. Thanks to our funders and to all who organised and participated. We’ve just published a report with photos and learnings and are hoping to secure more funding for more activities next year.

The next quarterly GFL Network meeting will be on Building Local Food Growing and Foraging will be on Tuesday 31st January 1 – 4pm. See more info below.

Good Food Events Happening Soon

Free festive meals:

There are free festive meals coming up over the next few days: three on 23rd, one on 24th and various on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Farming conference:

Oxford Real Farming conference early January:

Debt advice:

The Debt Free Advice Bus is coming to Lewisham Hospital on 13th Jan 10am to 4pm. There will be advice and signposting from different organisations. Address: University Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LH.

Strategy Day:

Right to Food London have a ‘Right To Food: Pan London Strategy Day’ on 14th January, details to come soon.

Food Groups Round Table 18th January:

On 18th January 2023 from 15.00-16.30 Lewisham Homes and Lewisham Local will be hosting a food aid organisation roundtable for food aid organisations based in Lewisham. The meeting will be an opportunity for projects that are facing particular challenges to collaborate with more established/better resourced organisations, to discuss best practice and get some advice, tips and tricks. Likely topics will be securing funding, retaining volunteers, keeping costs down and maintaining food donations. The venue is tbc but if you’d like to attend to get some support, please email

Next monthly Food Giving Network Meeting 26th January:

We decided to do these meetings less often but have more structured content. In the last two sessions we’ve had: FoodCycle Lewisham talking about best practice with volunteers, Right to Food and others talking about their Universal Free School Meals campaign, Karen Lewisham Local’s Community Fundraiser talking about her work and funding for food groups and Lakhvinder from Lewisham Public Health team talking about their Nutrition and Recipe Book for Black African and Caribbean families.

The next meeting will take place at 1-2pm on Thursday 26th January online. These meetings are for people directly running food projects and people who are closely connected to this, such as housing associations. Please get in touch if you’d like to participate in these meetings and if you’d like specific topics to be covered and we can invite speakers. We are also inviting food projects to tell us a bit more about they operate each month, let us know if you’d like to do this.

Next quarterly GFL Network Meeting 31st January:

This will be on Building Local Food Growing and Foraging will be on Tuesday 31st January 1 – 4pm. We’ll start with a shared lunch. Venue to be decided, we’ll update in the new year. Please sign up via Eventbrite, where you can see more details. We’ll be discussing topics, such as donating more locally grown food to local food giving projects following Sustain’s advice on how best to do this.

Warm Welcomes Network Meeting January:

There will be a network meeting of Warm Welcome Spaces sometime in January too for projects to meet each other and share best practice, watch this space.

Contact us about that project on:

Local Green Businesses

Sustainable Food Places have published a useful report on food SMEs:

“We received 89 responses from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the UK, including box schemes, farms, community supported agriculture schemes, shops, coops, markets, community pantries, cafés and restaurants. We produced a briefing summarising the findings and recommendations for national and local policy makers available here: Policy briefing: Cost of living and sustainable food enterprises | Sustain (”


Volunteer at a food project or warm welcome:

We’ve updated our volunteer call out for people at food projects and warm welcomes. Please let us know if you want to be added.

Advent calendar of giving:

The final few days of our 24 days of giving calendar are here. Today is the Felix Project who are looking for volunteers between Christmas and New Year. You can always look back at the calendar and support any food or other projects, it doesn’t have to be on that day.

Resources, training, news, reports

Food sustainability report and toolkits:

Useful report on food sustainability with tips and toolkits to achieve this. Every Mouthful Counts is an analysis of how UK councils are tackling the climate and nature emergency through policies and action on food governance, farming and food growing, food waste and procurement. We have started to discuss some possible actions with Lewisham Council.

Nutrition and Recipe Book for Black African and Caribbean Families:

The Nutrition and Recipe Book for Black African and Caribbean Families featured in our recent meeting can now de downloaded from the council’s website. It includes adaptations to recipes and a culturally appropriate Eat Well Guide.

Insight from local people identified that, in conjunction with limiting exposure to food and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar there is a need to provide culturally appropriate nutrition resources, particularly for people of Black African and Black Caribbean heritage. A Dietitian was commissioned to gather insight from community groups and develop a nutrition resource specifically for people of Black African and Caribbean heritage.

Support from the Land Worker's Alliance:

Support for new entrants when entering into the agroecological and sustainable land based sectors from the Land Worker’s Alliance,

Capital Growth Community Food Growing Report:

A new report investigates the surge of community food growing initiatives (primarily in London and Reading) during the Covid-19 crisis and demonstrates the transformative role urban food growing can play in people's lives and in creating more resilient communities.

You can download the full report Visual Storytelling about Community Food Growing: Participatory Action Research Methods, Processes, and Wider Implications here:

The findings of the report follow the project: Grassroots Visual Storytelling about Community Food-Growing, a collaboration between Capital Growth, Cobra Collective, Open University and Reading International Solidarity Centre.

Healthy Start Report from Sustain:


In our food network meeting last week, we had our community fundraiser Karen let us know about her work. You can sign up for bespoke one to one support with her, join Friday Fundraising Club and the WhatsApp group. She has been posting food related funds in our WhatsApp group too. Get in touch if you want to be added to any of these.

Green and Resilient Spaces Fund:

Green and Resilient Spaces Fund Round Two is NOW OPEN UNTIL 10 February 2023

The second round of the Mayor’s Green and Resilient Spaces Fund is now open for applications from councils and other organisations, with £3m available for projects to create or improve green spaces and an additional £800,000 for large scale tree planting to boost London’s climate resilience.

Grants on offer include:

  • Project Grants of between £250,000 and £750,000 for green space projects that can be completed by March 2025

  • Development Grants of up to £40,000 for work to be completed by March 2024 in order to create a pipeline of exemplar projects ready to deliver when additional funding becomes available

  • NEW - Tree Planting Grants of between £75,000 and £500,000 for exemplar tree lined streets and public spaces or woodland creation sites over two planting seasons, by March 2025 as part of the Mayor’s Trees for London programme.

Applications need to be submitted by 10 February 2023 and a decision about which projects receive grant funding is expected to be made in March 2023.

They will be holding optional applicant information webinars on:

Tuesday 17 January – 10am to 11.30am

Thursday 19 January – 2pm to 3.30pm

Please send any questions to

Lewisham Local's Cost of Living Crisis Appeal:

Our Cost of Living Crisis appeal has been doing well, with over £6,500 raised so far, thanks to all who have donated and please donate if you haven’t already. The funds will be used for food projects and fuel poverty advice to support people in the cost of living crisis.

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