The Pepper Pot Centre

21 January 2014

Surplus food is a social thing for older people in West London

Food is at the heart of West London’s Pepper Pot Centre. Each day at 12.30pm chef Marcia serves up a meal made from FareShare food to the Centre’s members, who are aged between fifty and ninety-four.

80% of those that attend Pepper Pot live alone and some of the men, who are not used to cooking, rely on microwave meals. The daily lunch ensures that they eat a nutritionally balanced meal five days a week, while sharing food with friends helps combat loneliness.

The Pepperpot Centre

The Pepperpot Centre

With many members from the local African and Caribbean communities, Marcia adds a Caribbean twist to each meal, and her signature dish of Caribbean stewed chicken, rice and peas is a favourite. Diabetes and high blood pressure are prevalent so lunch is low in salt and sugar, while Health Promotion Co-Ordinator, Carla Alao, teaches simple recipes that members can replicate in their own kitchens.

Sustenance and socialising

“Food is a social thing, it gets people together. We’re like a family.” Russell Lambert, Outreach Officer.

The Centre is a home from home and the social aspect helps members enjoy their old age. Besides a daily meal, Pepper Pot offers everything from crafts, tai chi and yoga to dancing and dominoes. Specialised care is also provided to those needing medical assistance, something that they are able to do thanks to the money they save by using FareShare.“We reinvest the funds we save into the day to day running of the service ” explains Russell. “The money we save goes into survival and ensuring the Centre stays open as long as possible.”

Marcia Edwards, chef Pepper Pot, James Darling 2013. 1

Read more on The Pepper Pot centre’s website. 

Photos: James Darling

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Older people and nutrition

We deliver food to hundreds of lunch clubs catering for older people across the UK helping them to provide healthy meals. This is particularly important because:

  • Nearly one million older people are at risk of malnutrition

Source: Malnutrition Task Force


Read more stories behind meals

Photography by Cornwall commercial photographer – James Darling Photography