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January 2013: The Food Chain at home and in the world

I’m just about one month in to my new role at The Food Chain and want to share with you my first impressions. There’s so much going on its hard to know where to start so here’s just a snapshot. The office is a friendly and busy place with the dedicated team of staff and volunteers generating a huge amount of activity every day. And every weekend an even larger group of people are beavering away all across London to ensure that the Sunday meal service runs smoothly. It’s an impressive amount of energy – if we could sell some to the national grid we’d make a fortune for the charity.  

I’ve met lots of Food Chain people including Lead cooks, Trustees and members of the Medical Advisory Board as well as sector colleagues at Positive East, Terrence Higgins Trust and the Children with Aids Charity. I’m looking forward to meeting many more in the coming months and to spending some time with Sunday meal volunteers so I can really get to know how The Food Chain works.

The month also included meeting delegates from two fantastic charities doing work in rural China – one of them supplying free school meals to 35000 primary school children who would otherwise not have a meal and who walk as much as 10 miles a day to get to and from school. They came here to hear how we do things at The Food Chain but I feel we can gain inspiration from them too – that’s a lot of meals every day.

Our Chinese visitors put me in mind of global issues and it was good to hear about the IF Campaign. Enough food for everyone seems like common sense to me.

And since the proof of the pudding is in the eating, I’m going to be cooking a Food Chain recipe each month. My first attempt was Chicken Sesame Noodle Salad - one of the light meals from the Sunday menus for winter and it did the job well. It has a peanut flavoured dressing and the carrot and cucumber give a crunchy texture and fresh flavour. It can fill you up on its own but in my case it left room for pudding to pander to my sweet tooth. Thank you to Susan Wilk for that recipe. 

Click here for the recipe and try this one for Chinese New Year - very tasty!

Siobhán Lanigan

Chief Executive

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  • Eleanor Hazlewood

    1st March 2013

    Sounds like you\'re settling in well :-) I love the blog idea and the recipe looks fantastic - I will definitely be giving it a go, especially as Brian loves chicken! All the best as you continue moving forward

  • Nicholas Bannard

    13th February 2013

    That all sounds like a really good first month. I am in South Africa at the moment where I see many many people struggling for the basic necessities of life and trying to live with HIV in very poor conditions, a little like China I guess. Good nutrition and comforting tasty food is SO important and I look forward to learning more about the work of the Food Chain and becoming involved when I return it London.