Hot meals prepared for needy in ‘food for all’ drive

In addition to distributing food parcels and opening foodbanks, a key feature of many of our Star Family Hubs has been the preparation and distribution of freshly-cooked hot meals. School kitchens across the country were repurposed from providing school dinners to preparing meals for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. Hot meals were also lovingly made for busy key workers and volunteers who were in need of respite from their relentless work during the pandemic.

We held a special Food For All day when our schools were tasked with providing as many hot meals as they could to people in need over a 24 hour period.  As a result, Star Family Hubs across the country prepared more than 3,000 hot meals in a single day. In total, we have prepared and distributed 17,000 hot meals and are still continuing to deliver meals to vulnerable people.

Staff from Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College (TIGHS) and The Olive School, Blackburn have been at the forefront of our efforts to provide nourishing hot meals to those in need. The schools joined forces with Westholme School, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackburn Youth Zone and Newground Together to help feed thousands of vulnerable people in Blackburn. The partnership resulted in more than 5,000 hot meals being distributed in one month.  On average the Star Family Hub in Blackburn helps to feed around 200 people a day through their hot meal programme. To date 6,500 meals have been prepared and given to vulnerable individuals, charities and key workers in a continuing effort to help people who are struggling during the pandemic.

Our West Midlands Star Family Hubs have also been working to provide hot meals for those in need.

The Olive School, Small Heath partnered the local charity, The Active Wellbeing Society, to supply meals to a cross section of Birmingham’s vulnerable population. Families in need, the elderly and refugees were all provided with meals prepared by staff at the school. At the peak of the virus, staff made approximately 400 meals a week. The majority of the ingredients are generously donated by school staff, who regularly gift bags of potatoes and vegetables to help fund the project. Staff have been so keen to support the hot meals project that they regularly give up their free time to peel potatoes, chop vegetables and prepare meals. The school has made almost 3,000 meals since April and plans to continue to provide food for as long as there is demand.

On Food For All day, Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Birmingham cooked up a storm to help feed people in need. Staff from Eden Girls Leadership academy, Birmingham used The Olive School, Small Heath’s kitchen to prepare 100 vegetable biryani boxes for families and delivered the meals to the community at Ghamkol Shariff Masjid in Small Heath.  Staff at Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, Birmingham supplied the ingredients for the meals.

For five members of Small Heath Leadership Academy’s Senior Leadership Team, Food For All day was a chance to come together to make a difference to people in need. The team spent the day chopping, peeling, washing and stirring vast pots of ingredients to create vegetable curry boxes. Dan Hennessy, Director of Projects at Small Heath Leadership Academy, led the team through a busy day which resulted in around 100 curry boxes being distributed to people in need.

At Eden Girls’ School, Waltham Forest, staff helped to provide hundreds of meals for vulnerable families and a local care home. The school established partnerships with local charitable organisations and businesses including The Saffron Kitchen, Eman Channel, Gafoor Pure Halal and Lint Group who helped the school to supply the food. In total 340 hot meals were delivered by volunteer members of staff to people in need, including 250 meals on Food For All day. On Food for All day, 25 members of staff, many of whom were fasting for Ramadan, worked for hours at a time to ensure that vulnerable people in their local community were able to enjoy a hot meal.