CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

New Journal hits the road again to help food hub distribute meals

A new base for community kitchen as volunteers rush to the aid of those in need

05 November, 2020 — By Dan Carrier

Janie Mac in the new facility

A NEW base for a groundbreaking community food project has been unveiled this week – and its volunteers are working hand in hand with the New Journal’s aid van project.

The Refugee Community Kitchen charity, originally founded in 2015 to help migrants living in terrible conditions in Calais, northern France, are tackling what they describe as a “perfect storm” of food poverty that is stalking Camden’s streets.

The new food hub comes as the New Journal continues to receive support to help those in need from across the borough: schools have held playground collections, youth football teams from the Camden and Regent’s Park League are organising donations and individuals are putting aside extra bags of groceries.

The Refugee Community Kitchen, which runs food projects in Camden Town, Kentish Town, Chalk Farm and Archway, were pointed to their new base at a former day centre in Highgate Road, Kentish Town, by the New Journal.

The building had been earmarked for redevelopment by the Town Hall – but as Covid-19 has delayed plans, the council have handed the keys over to two community food poverty groups. Now we are teaming up with them and their supporters, catering group Soulful Foods, to deliver over 100 ready-cooked meals a week.

RCK founder Janie Mac said: “Our ethos is all about ‘service above self’. So many feel marginalised. Our work helps a large range of people – from rough sleepers to the homeless, to families needing an extra hand. We are seeing a huge growth in demand from those on low incomes or who are unemployed. Food poverty is a huge issue – and it feels like we are heading towards a perfect storm this winter, an unfathomable level of crisis for so many.”

The charity relies on donations to support their work – and the New Journal is taking our food aid van with the RCK to Bristol next week to collect catering equipment worth thousands of pounds, donated by its city council for the scheme. The project will be staffed by volunteers through the week, creating delicious meals from scratch for the New Journal to distribute.

Ms Mac added: “It works like a professional kitchen, with volunteers in chef whites and all Covid secure. We have rotas for cooking and distribution – and we want people in NW5 to step forward and get involved. This will be a place for our community to come together and help.”

l For more information contact volunteering@refugeecommunitykitchen.org

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