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December 2015: All year round

As always, there was plenty going on at The Food Chain throughout the holiday period. Our service users enjoyed festive feasts on Boxing Day and for New Year at Eating Together, and we were delighted to join with Positive East on Christmas Day to provide lunch at their Stepney Centre. A thoroughly good time was had by all. We owe a very big thank you to everyone who made these services possible, and to the very many generous donors who contributed their time, food items, Christmas crackers and generous cash donations throughout December. We had one anonymous individual donor who very generously gave £1000.

Thank you to each and every person who contributes to our work all year round. It is truly inspiring.

And now a new year is upon us, and we will all work as hard as we possibly can to provide that same level of loving support in the months ahead. For many HIV charities this is an exceptionally difficult time and funding cuts are hitting hard in all areas. In some parts of the country, the local authorities have decided to stop spending any of their budget on HIV support services as they respond to their own funding cuts.  

It is more challenging than ever for the whole sector to sustain the level of income we need to meet our service users’ needs.

Although we don’t receive any public funding, it is hard for The Food Chain too, as there is a greater demand on all the other sources of income. We are fortunate at The Food Chain to have a very skilled and dedicated Board of Trustees who guide and oversee the charity, and make sure we are meeting our charitable purpose in the best ways possible with the resources we have available. The Board will be holding its annual Strategy Day during January and seeking answers to even the most difficult questions, as we plan for the next financial year. Some changes will be needed but everyone involved with The Food Chain can feel confident that our service users’ needs will be at the very heart of any changes we make.

I gave copies of our lovely cookbook to several friends and family for Christmas, and I’m making it my mission to try out lots of the recipes! The wonderfully simple Zucchinni, basil and parmesan salad (Pg. 25) contributed by restauranteur Russell Norman was a very welcome light lunch last week, after several days of festive feasting. Highly recommended!

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