Food is so fundamental to our existence – and so present in our lives and in the media - that it’s easy to lose sight, sometimes, of what it actually is and means. It’s fuel. It’s energy. It’s togetherness. It’s indulgence. Around January 1st, it’s deprivation. Making poor choices around it, and eating too many of these poor choices, is at the heart of a global obesity epidemic. Its production and delivery can have negative environmental impact. Its consumption, and what people choose to consume, is in part responsible for everything from bad grades at school, to lousy behaviour, to an inability to get a decent night’s sleep. It’s linked to diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
But the flip side of that last point is: if food can be disease-forming, then it can also be medicine.
So that’s just one of the reasons why we’re so delighted to be working with The Food Chain, a London-based initiative that aims to assist people living with HIV to eat well and stay well. Few would deny that many issues affect those living with HIV but it’s perhaps less recognised that many of these issues – isolation, poverty, depression, limited knowledge - impact upon their access to nutritious food as well as on their ability to prepare it.
Through various avenues – meal and grocery deliveries, cookery and nutrition classes and communal eating events – The Food Chain offers nutritionally savvy dietary advice and inspiration to those living with HIV – both sufferers and their dependents – so that their various health needs are addressed. Knowledgeable volunteers create the meal plans and head up the events, ensuring that the advice given is sound and able to be relied upon.
The Food Chain have recently signed up to become a FarmDrop – meaning that for every £1 spent on food purchased through their Drop, they’ll pocket 10p to help fund the essential diet and meal support they provide to so many people in need. And of course, a happy offshoot from this fact is the potential to meet other people with an interest in good, ethical, sustainably-sourced food whose interests might extend to getting involved on a volunteer or fundraising basis with The Food Chain.
At the moment, their aim is to have everything in place for their first FarmDrop for early July but in the meantime, they’re on the lookout for people who might like to supply goods or are keen to shop for their own goods via the Drop. If this sounds like you, then please drop a line to Dave King at [email protected]
Meanwhile, there’s still just enough time to rally the troops for a Spring Office Picnic - perhaps as a precursor to or aftermath of the Bank Holiday? Just take in your own food to work to share with colleagues and donate the four or so pounds you’d have usually spent on a bought lunch to The Food Chain. Why not rustle up your FarmDrop goodies into something picnicky and shareable?
Have a great Bank Holiday – fingers crossed for fabulous weather!