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My day at Lunch Positive

15 April 2016

[three_fourth]18 April 2016
Posted by Hannah Taylor, FareShare Food Collection Intern

Our Food Collection Intern Hannah recently visited one of our member charities in Brighton to find out how food donated at last December’s Neighbourhood Food Collection is making a difference. Here’s her account.

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Hannah Taylor[/one_fourth_last]


I arrived at Lunch Positive in true FareShare fashion, in a delivery van bearing a sack of potatoes. Relieved of the potatoes, which disappeared into a bustling kitchen, I was welcomed by Project Manager Gary.  As well as a nourishing meal made with food from FareShare, Lunch Positive offers a supportive space for people newly diagnosed with HIV, those who are bereaved and people who find living with HIV a barrier to meeting others.

Having spent several hours collecting long-life food in the December Neighbourhood Food Collection, I was keen to know where the tins and bags of pasta I had helped to collect came into the Lunch Positive equation.

Gary told me “The long-life food is really useful as a lot of the people who come to the lunch club are off work with extended sickness leave and may be struggling financially. We give them bits from our store cupboard to tide them over and the long-life food enables us to do this.”

Gary

“Overwhelmingly people need our support in respect of having a safe, supportive and non judgemental space where they can access a good diet and meet one another in a community setting” Gary continued. “Without FareShare, we would not be able to offer the variety of food or serve the numbers of people we do.”

Meeting Mike

After meeting Gary I spent a happy few minutes creating a coffee concoction at the hot drinks station whilst chatting to Mike*, a luncher who had arrived early. It was just before meal time and with the delicious smells of cooking wafting through from the kitchen, it didn’t take long to get onto the subject of food.

Mike told me “The food they make here is just amazing, I might not always eat everything because I don’t have a huge appetite now, but there is always something I like on the menu and they use really good stuff. I come most weeks, there is such a mix of people that come. You can always sit down and just chat with anyone.”

LP 3Preparing lunch 

Reflecting on my day 

Having experienced every other part of the food redistribution process – watching the deliveries of surplus food come into the FareShare warehouse; collecting customer donations in store; sorting food in the warehouse; delivering it to charities and community groups – it was amazing to see the food at the other end, cooked up into a delicious and nutritious three course meal (with vegetarian option) and enjoyed by the 60+ people who had turned up that day.

Lunch Positive is a completely volunteer-led service. From the chefs, to those meeting and greeting, to the clear-up team, everyone there is giving their time and energy for free to make Lunch Positive what it is. All the ingredients combined, the great volunteers, the food from FareShare and the safe and happy atmosphere, Lunch Positive offers something very special to those affected by HIV in the Brighton and Hove. I was proud to see that the Neighbourhood Food Collection was a part of that.

LP 4The volunteer team at Lunch Positive

*some names have been changed to protect the privacy of clients accessing the service.

For more information on Lunch Positive, visit www.lunchpositive.org

Inspired? Find out more about volunteering at this summer’s Neighbourhood Food Collection.

Back to the Volunteer Hub