The plant-based community cookery school and charity Made In Hackney has launched an ambitious #NoOneGoesHungry2022 crowdfunding campaign to raise £150,000 in six weeks, to fund the continuation of their community meal service next year.
The service began in March 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 crisis – and has been feeding people in Hackney ever since. It is part of the charity’s commitment to food justice and helping people lead healthier, happier, more connected lives using the power of plants.
Menus are developed with regular input from community members who tell Made In Hackney what flavours and dishes would bring them nourishment and comfort. Made In Hackney’s team of chefs and volunteers then prepares over 1,200 culturally-varied – and vegan – meals each week, and delivers them to households by bicycle.
“Thousands of people go hungry in Hackney every day,” says Sareta Puri, Community Meal Service Head Chef. “In a country as well-resourced as the UK, this is wrong. The service may have started as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic – but as long as our community needs support, we’re going to keep cooking.”
Made In Hackney points out that people in the borough, and across the country, need food support for many reasons. Sarah Bentley, the charity’s founder says, “People might be dealing with a short or long term physical or mental health issue. Or living in temporary accommodation with no proper kitchen facilities to cook. Or have been made suddenly unemployed and are waiting for benefits to start. A lot of Hackney residents are struggling with rising rent prices. Or are living in working poverty where earnings are less than benefit level. Our community are amazingly resilient, talented and resourceful – but sometimes too many challenges happen at once and without support you’d go hungry. That’s the reality.”
Get a taster of Made In Hackney’s meals by trying the recipes for three delicious West African dishes – Attieke and Vegetable Stew, Party Jollof Rice and Okra Stew with Fufu – shared on the Meat Free Monday website courtesy of Duchess Nena and Made In Hackney.
Visit Made in Hackney’s crowdfunder page to donate.