Cook to Care - Free home-cooked meals!

*UPDATE! Cook to Care has a website: www.cooktocare.co.uk *

Cook to Care began four weeks ago (at the start of Covid-19 lockdown); it has so far been a self-funded project providing home-cooked meals to those in need. The initial idea was to help our vulnerable neighbours in Streatham Hill and in just four weeks those first 40 something meals, by ever-growing demand, quickly became over 500. We are now reaching out to four south London boroughs; Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth. *Update* now covering Croydon. Cook to Care are not a one-off service but a continuous one which provides weekly meals for the very first people we supported. We are now entering our fifth week and have gained new partnerships with two charities. We want to take all appropriate measures to keep the service going in the short term, while securing the guarantee of our free service for the long-term. For Cook to Care, food is a fundamental and core value to living well. Food symbolises so much, we share so many special moments with one another while food is on the table. It brings us together when we celebrate life, love and success, and helps us through grief, failure and despondency. Food is such an emotional aspect of our lives, which is why we are so passionate about this project and the food we cook. All our meals are nutritious, balanced and are in very reasonable portions (even those for children), carefully thought out on a weekly basis and are always varied. Among the most vulnerable of our Cook to Care community, many have not qualified for public services due to the fact that they have not “ticked the boxes” of what is deemed as “vulnerable”. They have exposed so much to us of their personal stories in their referral emails, with the worry they would be rejected, and not receive the meal that they are so desperate for. Can you imagine being in a position where you feel you need to justify being entitled to have a bare necessity? Regardless of how well we think we have planned for the future, this can happen to any one of us. These are not "sob stories" but the harsh everyday reality for more than 1.2 million people living in food poverty in London and a total of 3 million across the UK. We have all, at some point, been guilty of turning a blind eye or been ignorant of harsh realities which did not directly affect us; yet the present Covid crisis has laid bare the fundamental reality that we can all be affected, that ALL our lives matter and at some point we will all need one another. We must care, we are all in this together, and even in times of hardship, compassion from others can get us through. That is why Cook to Care matters and although we always refer to “we” because we are not a one person show regardless of how many people are in the kitchen (just Jojo at the moment!), the “we” is all of us including Cook to Care’s service users, volunteers, and those who have donated food and other items or simply liked or shared a post.  Out of respect for Cook to Care’s community and the vulnerabilities that have been so  personally shared, it is only fair to share some of my vulnerability as well, so that you all have a picture of  the passion and drive behind this project: I am Jojo and have worked and volunteered across the charity sector, set up numerous workshops for some of the most vulnerable including those with complex mental health needs, victims of childhood sexual abuse and young prison leavers. My Mother has complex mental health needs and I have seen first hand the devastating and life threatening affects mental health has and how negative childhood experiences can inherently disadvantage you and the choices you make in adult life. Secondly, I had a “perfect” childhood until I was 9 years old where we quite literally lost it all and became homeless, yet… There was always incredible food on the table and every single one of those meals helped to serve as an oasis in the appalling and catastrophic conditions we were living in. I cannot fathom what it would have been like not having a next meal or seeing my Mother in despair wondering when our next meal was. Knowing that this is the current situation for 20% of people in London hits me extremely hard and has galvanised me into action. I know the healing and restorative power of food.  The £500 Cook to Care hopes to raise will guarantee our service for the next month to continue to support for those we already help; Further donations will help us to offer our service to more without the worry and risk of turning away those most in need.  We are not asking for huge donations just £1.50 can provide Cook to Care with enough ingredients to feed a family of four with a second portion each! So imagine how much your £3.20 daily cup of coffee would provide, or the many £5 pints of beer/£6.50 glasses of wine we have had at after work drinks?! The reason we ask for £500 is because this is the amount personally spent over the past 4 weeks for ingredients, this does not include mine or Cook to Care’s volunteers time in kind or other expenses including extra equipment and packaging.  We have seen the world of difference a meal makes to an individual or a family. Any form of donation really makes the world of difference to so many families, and we will be forever grateful for the opportunity to support our most vulnerable, hopefully long into the future. If you have access of any of these or know someone that does, please contact us [email redacted] . Cook to Care would like to express gratitude at this time for the donations we receive from the lovely Harvey and Brockless team (https://www.harveyandbrockless.co.uk ).   Cook to Care are also looking to the future, and in need of acquiring larger premises/kitchen space as well as more storage space and equipment  to continue our work. Please let us know if you are aware of any of these opportunities. We hope the above has given you an understanding of who we are and what we are doing.  Please support us in any way you can, simply sharing our Go Fund Me link to your network will be invaluable as well. Thank you for taking the time to check our page! Cook to Care

Donations

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  • Alan Brookland 
    • £10 
    • 4 days ago
  • Anonymous 
    • £50 
    • a month ago
  • Anonymous 
    • £10 
    • a month ago
  • Anonymous 
    • £100 
    • a month ago
  • Amber Walker 
    • £50 
    • a month ago
See all

Organiser

Jojo SJ 
Organiser
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
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