Can you help us make over 200,000 meals in just 100 days?
The delicious food will be cooked and prepared by Community Response Kitchen, an entirely unpaid volunteer team, in Wembley and reach thousands of NHS, key workers and vulnerable groups across Brent, Ealing, Hertforshire and east London. We are now also helping evicted international students working alongside Educating Beyond Borders with food, essentials and accommodation. These students have no families here to fall back on and are being evicted so we supply them with hot meals, snacks for their journeys, essentials for when they move to new accommodation and we also transport them to the airport at all hours.
Just six weeks ago, Daksha Varsani and her husband Paresh Jethwa decided to cook 50 meals a week for NHS key workers. The emotional reaction and gratitude of the staff convinced Daksha and Paresh to go MUCH further.
The response of the local community has been incredible and their entirely volunteer team has grown to over 50 people, distributing over 2,000 daily meals. They have now prepared and distributed over 87,000 gifts.
But they can’t continue without your help.
The food supply has proved so popular that Daksha and her team now need to fundraise to secure a reliable supply of quality food at bargain wholesale prices to go alongside donated produce. They would also like to diversify some of the food offering. They also need to meet running costs of their operation (see below).
The goal of their new fundraising campaign is to raise £100,000 – this is just 50p towards the cost of what would usually be a £3 meal prepared by an entirely unpaid volunteer team of 50 people.
Daksha explains “Our Community Response Kitchen is driven by love for our community and compassion for those that need help. While we’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of so many we know that to do more we need to raise money to cover running costs and also ensure we provide a range of balanced, delicious and nutritious food seven days a week”.
· £10 would help sponsor fresh rice and fruit/veg for 20 meals.
· £20 will enable an unpaid driver to cover the cost of delivery petrol for a day.
· £50 would sponsor three 10kg bags of wholesale rice – enough rice for 450 meals!!
Financial donations will go towards the purchase of food that cannot be sourced by donations with contributions also to:
- Renting premises and kitchen space
- Utility bills
- Procurement of ingredients to prepare meals (we will continue to try and secure food donations where possible)
- Packaging – needed daily
- PPE for volunteers – masks, sanitisers, gloves, shoe covers
- Food Safety and hygiene items for volunteers – hair nets, first aid bands, aprons
- Cleaning materials – Antibacterial and Anti-Viral sprays and wipes, soap
- Periodic professional deep cleaning of premises
- Volunteer Driver Expense – donation towards fuel and parking if required
- Office consumables – E.g. Labels, paper, toner
For pictures of the amazing Community Response Kitchen, please visit @communityresponsekitchen on Facebook or on Instagram .
All food prepared at KSL Heather Park Community Hall, Alperton is certified, with local authority registration, food hygiene certificates and insurance. Volunteers follow all hygiene standards and observe social distancing guidance.
Here is a list of some of the huge range of NHS bodies, charities and community groups that are currently supported and we are happy to be contacted by others.
NHS Nightingale London
Caritas Anchor House
Croydon University Hospital
Edgware General Hospital
Guys & St. Thomas' Hospital
Hillingdon Hospital – Maternity Ward
Kings College Hospital
National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, London
Newham University Hospital
North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
Northwick Park Hospital
Peace Children’s Centre – Watford
Park Royal Medical Centre
Princess Royal University-A&E
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
St. Mary's Hospital Paddington
UCLH - University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Wexham Park Hospital
Watford General Hospital A&E & Childrens’ Ward
Wrexham Maelor Hospital
Ealing Council Social Services
BRENT COMMUNITY GROUPS
The Granville Community Kitchen
Fresh Horizons Harlesden Foodbank
Willesden Centre for Health
My Romania Community
Sacred Heart RC Church
Just Homes, E7
Richard House Children's Hospice
Caritas Anchor House, E16
Queens Park Community Hub (Westminster)
The Avenues Youth Project (Westminster)
Hounslow Helping Hands
Lingwood Court Care Home, East Finchley
Bell Farm Christian Centre, West Drayton
Help The Homeless, Hillingdon
Age UK, Ealing
Salusbury Primary School
Malorees Infant & Junior School
Newman Catholic College
Queens Park Community School
MUTUAL AID (serving local people directly & charities)
Kensal Green Mutual Aid Group
Brondesbury Mutual Aid Group
Acton Mutual Aid
Willesden Mutual Aid Group
Kilburn Mutual Aid
Dudden Hill Mutual Aid
Dollis Hill Mutual Aid
Harlesden Mutual Aid
Welsh Harp Mutual Aid
Queens Park Mutual Aid
Zahida Hassandin Premji, Pharmacist of Watford General Hospital said “Our team work long shifts and the meals have made a big difference to morale and the spirit of the Department. We really look forward to the delicious meals every day”.
Giles Deards, Trustee of Queens Park-based refugee support charity, Salusburv World, said “When we first heard of a wife and husband making free food we thought it might be for a week or two. Now dozens of charities across Brent receive hundreds of meals every week, including Salusbury World, four local schools, Fresh Horizons Foodbank, Queens Park Community Hub, Rumi’s Kitchen, the Avenues, mutual aid groups and the new Willesden Mutual Aid Foodbank. It’s about even more than the food; Daksha has inspired us. Salusbury World volunteers have now set up two new food initiatives in Queens Park. We’re delighted to be helping the fundraising for this campaign”.
James Carson of Hillingdon Crisis said “Daksha and her team have saved our charity from closure providing us with wide variety of items, a lot of invaluable advice and contacts to help us out. They are an amazing group of very special people”.
Andy Lambell of Just Homes in Newham said “Just Homes runs seven hostels for homeless people in Newham and we would have really struggled to stay open if it hadn’t been for the food from Community Response Kitchen five days a week. We’d like to thank Daksha and her team for doing an incredible job”.
Shereen Sherry of Acton Mutual Aid said “we are in awe of the Community Response Kitchen and how they magically supply us with 400 weekly meals at a time to help feed the elderly, vulnerable and those in financial hardship across Acton. The meals are delicious and carefully labelled and packaged. It’s clear what we receive is the outcome of a labour of love. Just amazing!”
- Hemini Bharadia
Wembley, Greater London, United Kingdom