Maida Vale team fundraising to boost hot meal deliveries for children living in food poverty
- Credit: Alice Sinclair
A team effort in Maida Vale is seeing volunteers delivering healthy meals to families in need.
When chef Jenny Woodberry raised more than £1,500 around October half-term, she realised she needed a hand to deliver the meals she could cook to people who needed them.
After asking around, she was introduced to the W9W2 Society’s Alice Sinclair who, along with Ronnie Renney from the North Paddington Youth Club, was able to set up a delivery network to make sure children who were hungry were fed during the second lockdown.
Now the trio are fundraising to keep this service going for as long as possible while the pandemic continues.
Ronnie told this newspaper a meal with some of the youth club’s children – where many took home cartons of leftovers because their parents were hungry – had seen it become obvious that food poverty was a big issue locally.
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“This is such a real problem that people don’t talk about.”
After that, Ronnie began working with community partners including local restaurateur Clare Smyth and the Al-Manaar mosque in Kensington to help feed families. Then he got talking to Alice and Jenny, and they’ve teamed up to deliver a menu of hot meals each week.
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Ronnie added: “We started off delivering to the families of the young people we already knew, and now we’ve been getting referrals from the local authority. We are now looking at how we can continue and grow this.”
Jenny continued the story: “When the half-term campaigning was going on I wanted to help and I set up a fundraiser, but quickly realised I didn’t know how to get the food to the right people. And then Alice really helpfully came forward, and said she had been looking to put something in place with the youth club.”
Jenny – who runs a private chef business and has worked in restaurants around the country, said she provided four different meals, three vegetarian and one halal – to the youth club’s families. She added the aim was to raise enough money to keep the programme going as long as it was needed.
Alice added: “We want to continue for as long as we can, and this will be donation dependent. The food Jen prepares is halal and very popular! It’s a great team and we have a lot of fun.”
To help with the effort, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/w9w2covidresponse