The CDARS Community Kitchen was launched on the 8th of April 2020 and since then the team have prepared over 4,000 nutritious meals for their vulnerable clients. The service was initially set up as a response to the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the team activated a rapid response which aimed to support vulnerable clients at home with food and healthy meals to help through the crisis. Our most vulnerable clients offered support consisted of the following: Over 70s with underlying health problems or who have no family or friend to support them, medically impaired clients with cancer etc, disabled clients who cannot walk, lift etc, recovering addicts who are unable to leave their home, clients who have had mental health conditions and suffered from depression, anxiety and social exclusion and isolation, ex service men and women and their widows and clients who are on suicide watch.
Due to the success of the Community Kitchen, CDARS will now permanently offer this food service to their clients. The Community Kitchen is managed by Danny McCubbin who spent many years working with Jamie Oliver on various food campaigns. CDARS in house nutritionist Dr Lesley – Anne Kerr overseas the nutritional aspect of each meal which is vitally important given the correlation between poor diet and Covid-19.
The kitchen is currently running out of the St Mungo’s Wellbeing Centre in Clapham and the volunteer chefs also provide meals for clients of St Mungo’s who are living at the centre. The team have connected with ‘Waste Not Want Not Battersea’ and received significant donations of rescued food from Covent Garden Market, cutting food waste and costs. They are also working with the team from St Mungo’s “Putting Down Roots” project that teaches vulnerable people how to plant and grow vegetables and herbs. The plan for the Community Kitchen going forward is to provide basic cooking skills for the clients who are receiving the meals so that they can eventually start to prepare the meals for themselves.
Feedback has come direct on the doorstep during deliveries, via text messages, phone calls and via key workers & counsellors during one to one sessions. Here are a few of we have received;