Soon after lockdown, Square Food Foundation, which delivers free and subsided cookery courses and works with Bristol24/7 to deliver the How To Be A Chef programme, repurposed its kitchen to prepare and supply a daily meal to children and families in Knowle West who rely on free school meals.
So far, more than 7,000 meals have been provided through the #SquareMeals project, with up to 270 meals per day are distributed to children in Knowle West that usually rely on free schools meals.
In mid-April, Square Food Foundation extended the #SquareMeals project to include weekend DIY meal kits. 150 DIY kits have been delivered to 30 families, with a link to a video of instructions.
Since the DIY kit launch, families have made home-made pasta ribbons with tomato sauce, tuna fishcakes, soda bread and flapjacks together.
With restaurants closed, some of the city’s chefs have stepped in to help staff and volunteers with the project. Staff from BOX-E have got involved, with Elliott Lidstone, co-owner and head chef saying: “We have put our life and soul into our restaurant so closing was incredibly hard, especially as we have no idea yet when we might be able to reopen.
“Cooking is in my blood though and I knew straight away that I wanted to make a difference during the pandemic by cooking for people who need it most. Having supported Square Food Foundation in the past with their How To Be A Chef programme, volunteering for them was an obvious choice.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to contribute.”
Some of the charity’s volunteers will feature in a new show, recognising the hard work that they’ve been doing.
Ross Kemp: Britain’s Volunteer Army celebrates volunteers up and down the country coming together to help each other during the coronavirus crisis.
“Square Food Foundation relies on a brilliant team of staff and volunteers to be able to deliver the work we do,” says Barny Haughton, Square Food Foundation founder and director.
“I’m delighted our volunteers are being recognised in this new BBC programme to celebrate volunteering in this time of unprecedented need. Our volunteers have definitely gone the extra mile helping us to adapt and support those who need it most.”
All photos: Square Food Foundation