Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Community Café on the Hill becomes Covid-19 food project
Good Food Lewisham went to meet Sharon Shamir (with social distancing, of course), a Lewisham volunteer heading up the Bold Vision project running out of the (now closed) Hill Station Café on Telegraph Hill.
The project has been making up food boxes and delivering them in the local area since the Covid-19 crisis began on 20 March.
“We’ve contacted seven local nurseries and primary schools and spoken to secondary schools too – waiting to hear back from them. We get our boxes packed on a Monday morning and labelled up with the address and how many people are in the family. We have good connections with wholesalers including fruit and veg coming in from New Covent Garden Market – milk, eggs and bread too. Then another wholesaler brings us porridge, sugar, flour, lentils, rice. Then we get some surplus food from the large food redistributors, which could be anything from yoghurts to hot cross buns and soups. We have a team of twenty volunteers who pack and then we deliver the boxes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, using another 25 volunteer drivers. We take referrals any day and we respond to any queries we get from anyone. We collect nutritional data on what people want – gluten-free and so forth. We work with AFRIL too – if they’re in need, they tell us and we’ll accommodate that. We also have an informal partnership with the Somerville and Pepys estates, so that all food is allocated and nothing goes to waste. We are feeding around 140 households at the moment. We always put a note in with the box saying, we’ll assume that you want this again next week unless you tell us otherwise. This week, each box contains an A4 leaflet from a grief counsellor and an A5 flier about Zoom virtual meetings to combat social isolation. We also do “at cost” boxes for NHS Workers and those who are 70+, house-bound or self-isolating and unable to get out for any reason.”
As I chatted to Sharon, headteacher Sue from John Stainer primary school arrived to take 29 boxes and deliver them to families from the school – free school meals won’t kick in for two weeks, she said, with a cheery smile as she started to load up the boxes into her car. #LocalHeroes
To contact Sharon about running a similar project, message her on 07984 044 568.
To request a food box, contact Vic on 07462 574 516.