The Super Supper Club, held at Easton-based organisation Baggator, has expanded to cook food for local children on a Thursday evening. The project, Bagga-bites, was born at the start of lockdown due to concerns in the community around childhood nutrition and mental health. Now, organisers are doing what they can to keep it going while still following lockdown rules.
The yard at Baggator provided an ideal space for young people to safely collect their meals this summer. The drop-in service meant that up to 30 children could be fed without the space getting too busy. Some would take their food and go, while others stayed and socialised with friends or cycled around the yard on their bicycles.
Bagga-bites is about connecting with local children through food, and is one of many projects that aim to bring life to a new youth club at Baggator. It also taps into the needs of young people in the area. Back in January, when the team ran an event which involved food provision, they became aware that many local children were going home without a hot meal.
“We know there are a lot of kids who are not eating properly because their parents haven’t got the money,” says Stuart Phelps, chair of Baggator. “We wanted to provide them with a free takeaway where they could be given a meal and have some engagement with our youth workers.
“Like many small charities, we have no money and need volunteers to run our service. However, we are looking into funding applications and are getting donations from the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, Bristol Sweet Mart, and Pak Butchers.”
Rachel Hodgson has run the Super Supper Club for over two years. Originally the club was about bringing people together and tackling social isolation, but since the March lockdown they have converted into a delivery service. They are now providing frozen meals to 25 families each week.
Rachel, who also works full-time, now cooks for the community twice a week, alongside John, Cath and Helen. Together, they make up the core of Super Supper Club. “When they had the idea for Bagga-bites a few months ago, they asked us if we could cook, last minute and we’ve been doing it ever since,” says Rachel. “It’s different cooking for kids. They were fussy at first, but they’ve got used to coming here now and we’ve had to adapt.”
Prior to the announcement of a second lockdown, Stuart was in the process of setting up a youth panel to shape how the project would move forwards. “It’s going to get colder and darker and with the social distancing guidelines we need to think carefully about how we can begin to use the indoor space,” he said at the time.
“We have the space to cater to three groups of six and we are also looking into extending the project to an additional day. In the end it will be up to the youth panel to make those decisions once we are able to hold an election for youth trustees.”
However, now that the new lockdown rules have come into force across England, the plans for using the indoor space are currently on hold. Stuart hopes that young people will still be able to access the service, by collecting their food and eating it at home. “That’s all we can do under the regulations,” he says. “Even that might not be possible when we study the detail.”
Baggator are always looking for volunteers. Please contact email@example.com to find out more. Super Supper Club also need drivers to deliver meals on Wednesday. If you can help, please send them a message on facebook: www.facebook.com/Super-Supper-Club
Main Photo by Katarzyna Sowinska