A visit to the Jack Hobbs Centre, London

21 January 2014

The Jack Hobbs Centre“I’m a fussy eater but I like all the fruit we get here, I don’t like the spinach though!” Adil, aged 9

The Jack Hobbs centre is an afterschool centre that offers a breakfast club and a holiday play-scheme for young people in South London.

One of our drivers, Alan, took this photo after dropping off food to the centre, so we decided to return one afternoon to hear more about how FareShare is helping the kids at the centre.

We arrive just in time to catch the chefs busy at work preparing a chicken and vegetable curry with rice. Centre Manager Jennie explains how FareShare is helping them to offer hot food more often.

“Before, we used to offer a sandwich but now we can offer a cooked meal more regularly. A lot of the parents don’t have the time or money to cook a meal every night and we used to get complaints that we weren’t serving enough food to the kids. Now that we work with FareShare we can offer cooked food more often. A lot of the children don’t get fresh fruit and veg at home so we introduce it to them here. A lot of it is alien to them but they’ll always give it a try!”

She goes on to say: “Now we are working with FareShare we can save [around 40%] of our food budget. All the core ingredients come from FareShare and we top it up with the remaining budget. The savings will now be reinvested in materials and equipment for the centre.” When the children arrive at 3.30pm they are keen to talk about food.

“I like the chicken and rice and I also love melon! I definitely prefer the food here to the food we get at school!” Lilly, aged 8 

As well as providing a meal, the centre also gives the kids the opportunity to cook for themselves as an activity and the talk turns to the homemade pizzas they made last week. Adil seems particularly proud of his creation, declaring “It was yummy, I made a pizza with tomatoes, cheese and chicken!”. 

Just before we leave two more children are keen to show us the “restaurant” they have created. They offer up imaginary dishes of fish, peas, rice, yoghurt and cereal (not together, of course!) and it’s clear that FareShare food is also feeding their imaginations.

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