Free Harissa Kitchen meals to support the local community in COVID-19 response
Food Nation has responded to the needs of the local community who have suffered an adverse impact on their lives as a result of COVID-19. Due to the social distancing restrictions imposed on Food Nation by the government, normal service delivery was not going to be possible for some time. This would ordinarily include using food as a tool to bring people together in groups through cooking classes, food education workshops and social lunch clubs – all of which was not going to be possible for the foreseeable future. In addition, Food Nation’s restaurant and catering arm, Harissa Kitchen, was also not able to trade due to COVID-19.

As a social enterprise Food Nation adapted the service delivery and have been continuing to strive towards inspiring people about food whilst responding to the needs of the community and the emergency food access that was in demand locally.

Since March 2020, Food Nation and Harissa have been working closely with the local authority and a number of voluntary sector organisations to provide meals for those people most in need. Over a 12 week period over 9000 meals have been provided specifically for people who have been unable to access fresh and nutritious food. Some of those who have been supported with this service has included people required to Shield from COVID-19, people without the ‘know-how’ or access to use online food delivery services, and those who found themselves in a state of unexpected financial insecurity and unable to buy food for themselves and their families. 

Whilst we will continue to provide reheatable meals for those who need them we are also now supporting people to transition back into being able to cook for themselves. Each week Recipe Kits are dropped off on doorsteps with all the ingredients, a recipe card and a link to an online video tutorial. The results have been fantastic and people who have never cooked before, or tend to use ready-made ingredients, are finding their love for cooking. One of the biggest impacts being shared by families is that it is creating a time and activity that they are able to do as a family and is really working as a bonding tool for the whole family.

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