A ‘youth kitchen’ project has prepared 22,000 milestone meals for the homeless in Barnet’s night shelter and other charities.

Project Impact is a youth volunteering charity in Hendon for north London’s Jewish teenagers that is helping people of all faiths.

The Chief Rabbi for the UK and Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis, visited the kitchen at Hendon’s Wohl Campus to see the 22,000th meal being packed.

“This is an amazing sight,” he said. “Volunteering is an opportunity for young people. When you give selflessly to others, you make a positive impact on their lives.”

The kitchen was buzzing as teenagers from 28 schools in Barnet, Camden and Haringey joined the milestone celebration, including pupils from Highgate and South Hampstead secondary schools.

They were helping prepare meals using surplus food from Barnet Food Hub and the Felix Project.

The youth kitchen has delivered 22,000 meals to food banks and shelters at a time when one-in-four people in London are in poverty, the charity points out.

Marcin Nocek, from ‘Together in Barnet’ charity alliance, explained: “The food is being delivered to our night shelter for the homeless, as lunch boxes for those who work and for Muslims who observe Ramadan as a meal to break their fast.

“It’s incredible how the teenagers have such an effect by providing meals for those in need from all faiths.”

The youngsters also heard from a homeless woman who has been using the Barnet night shelter through the winter months, having been on the streets since November. Being homeless “you still need proper food on the move all the time”, she explained.

Some 3,000 teenagers have volunteered 10,000 hours at the Hendon youth kitchen since 2019.

Project Impact has partnerships with 30 charities and plans more volunteering schemes during school holidays.

Its founder Chayli Fehler said: “Our young volunteers are the driving force behind the youth kitchen with their enthusiasm and desire to make a positive impact. Our vision is for all Jewish teenagers to be involved in social action for their community and beyond.”

Pupils wanting to get involved in volunteering can find projects on the “projectimpact.org.uk” website. The hours can be credited towards the Duke of Edinburgh awards.