Hello and welcome from the Social Kitchen. Where we are all huddling together for warmth as it is not warm outside. But that hasn’t stopped us from getting things done.
We started our workshops last week and our wonderful participants who came down, made their own delicious chicken curries with naan bread. Then stayed on to sit down and enjoy their food together.
The £2.50 Challenge Update
We here at the Kitchen have all finished our £2.50 challenge and here’s what Andrew and Angus had to say about the challenge….
Day 467 of the 5 days £2.50 a day food challenge. And what can I say, it was tough.
I started the week with a sunny optimism about how easy the challenge would be. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I tried planning my week and did my weekly shop on Sunday. I had a plan about what I would buy and good advice from the Unity Social Kitchen team. Did I prepare enough? Not at all!
My week consisted of dry toast breakfasts, pot noodle lunches and a chicken veg and rice hybrid for dinner.
Was this enough food? Yes, but it was painful and a mental challenge.
Did I enjoy it? No and Was I productive at work, no.
I started this week thinking it would be easy, the harsh reality was harder than I could have anticipated.
It’s a troubling statistic that people live like this week in and week out and that’s not lost on me. I have a new outlook on how hard this is, and a reignited passion to help out more, in whatever way I can.
I will be honest with you it was our staff Christmas party (Despite it being late January) on Friday and I buckled and ate pizza.
The Australian Scottish person, Andrew
I swear my spice cupboard is staring at me…
It’s Wednesday night and I’m halfway through my week and I’m stirring a pot of tomatoes and lentils on the stove and I know it’s going to be bland. It’s also going to be tomorrows lunch…
3 days earlier, and I am standing in Lidl with my phone in my hand balancing how much money I have left. I had a busy weekend and now it’s Sunday night and I need to do my shopping for the week. All my plans for doing menu planning or anything else clever went out the window. I grabbed some cans of tomatoes, some lentils, oats, cheese, eggs and frozen mixed vegetables. Then went across the road to locavore which sells things in bulk so I could buy a small amount of spices. Cumin and paprika.
I then embarked on a week of not bad food just dull food and while everything I made was vegetarian I ended the week in desperate need for fresh vegetables, because fresh vegetables are expensive.
By Friday my mood had tanked. I felt awful from this repetitive diet. I was just not getting enough nutrition and I am a chef for the reason that food gives me joy. I like food, I like varied and interesting food. I have lived on benefits at various points in my life but each of those times I had a cupboard full of basic ingredients and some spices. From that point I can live very well and cheaply. But if my cupboard was bare then it becomes so much harder.
But let’s be honest I had it easy. It was just 5 days and after those 5 days I knew it was going to end. In five days, I could go down to the shop and buy more food. I didn’t have to think about the next week on 2.50 a day. Or the week after that. I didn’t have to worry about the cost of the power I was using as I cooked my food.
If I had an emergency costs during the week paying those costs would not eat into my food budget for that week and that’s’ the reality for a lot of people trying to make ends meet on the minimum wage.
Last but not Least, we are officially launching our Sunday Social on Sunday February 16th and then every Sunday from Sunday February 23th we will be serving up a free meal to help those who are disadvantaged, face food poverty, live in social isolation or who just want to come and contribute.
All food is produced in the Unity Social Kitchen and entertainment comes from local talent.