The spread of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people all over the world but it is also showing the power of communities coming together. As COVID-19 started spreading across London, we saw how this crisis was increasing food security issues facing our community, leaving more vulnerable people at risk of hunger, homelessness and isolation. These are the very issues that Edible London was founded to work against and we knew we had to help.
We acted quickly to adjust our existing projects in response to this growing emergency. It has been a busy month of action with Sunny and our team of amazing volunteers putting in long hours each day. Now we want to let you know exactly what Edible London has been doing to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. Edible is by no means acting alone in this project. We are part of a community-wide collaboration, so we’d also like to introduce you to our new partners, supporters and volunteers who we’ve been teaming up with so far.
In just a few weeks, Edible has set up two food redistribution sites working out of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Alexandra Palace. We are working in partnership with Haringey Council to prepare and deliver hampers of fresh food and essential goods to over a thousand local households each week. We’ve put in place safety protocols and distancing on our sites, to allow us to keep working safely as the lockdown continues. Our partnership with Haringey Council has helped us scale up this operation quickly and safely, to meet the increased local need for nutritious food supplies. Their Connected Communities program has helped us reach out to vulnerable families and individuals who are in urgent need our deliveries. We have also received our first £5,000 fund to support our work, secured by Haringey Giving.
Each of our hampers contains enough fresh food and essential supplies to last 4 days, with redelivery booked in to follow. To source these supplies we’ve started working with a whole load of brilliant new partners, whose combined support is crucial to our operation. Each day we receive surplus food stocks sourced through Haringey Council and The Food Alliance, as well as fresh bread provided by the local grocery Yasar Halim. We’re also supported with daily fresh fruit and vegetables plus other surplus stocks donated by our partners; Fresh & Fruity, Neighbourly, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Food for All and London Fruit & Veg Ltd. By redistributing their food supplies to the people who so desperately need them during this crisis, we’re making sure they are put to good use instead of being wasted. Thank you to each and every one of our partners for their valued support.
As well as help from our partners, we’ve seen an overwhelming response from local people keen to get involved and help Edible run this operation. Whether it’s running our packing sites, making safety masks, sorting through donations, reaching out to new suppliers or delivering the hampers, our volunteer heroes have each helped shape our operation organically. Without their incredible energy, inventive ideas and time, this operation just wouldn’t be possible. In the first week we started with only 6 volunteers preparing food donations. Now nearly a month later, we have over 150 people signed up to work with us. It has been an amazing outpouring of community support.
And that’s not all. Instead of selling the produce we grow, we have started donating it to local charities cooking food for people who need it most. We are delivering our produce to the Made In Hackney Community Cookery School, the Highway House and Hot Milk Cafe, who use it to cook hot meals for homeless people in North London, NHS workers at the North Middlesex and Whittington hospitals and others in need. Through this we’ve helped serve thousands of hot meals each week.
In these uncertain times, each day brings new challenges and new solutions and ideas for running our operation. We will be continuing to support people in need of essential nutritious food supplies whilst the COVID-19 crisis continues and afterwards as our community copes with the long term effects. A huge thank you to our partners, suppliers, volunteers and everyone else who is coming together to help us to continue our work. As we grow here are a number of ways you can support us to make London Edible during these difficult times.
How you can help Edible’s COVID-19 response
- We’ve also created an Amazon Wishlist with items that we need to keep our team running behind the scenes.
Gloves, high vis, hand sanitisers, stationary – they might not sound exciting but these items are so valuable in keeping our volunteers working safely and efficiently. Can you help our volunteers by buying something from our wishlist?
Volunteer with us!
If you would like to volunteer with Edible London, please follow the steps below:
1. Complete the Preparation Hampers Form
2. Fill the Volunteer Waiver Form
3. Upload a photocopy of your ID (Passport/Driving Licence/ID Card) here