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January 2015: Making New Friends

I find it hard to believe that a month of the new year has gone by already. They do say time flies when you are having fun though, so that must be why! Katie and I visited our colleagues at George House Trust and it was good to put faces to names and be met with the same enthusiasm and commitment to providing excellent services for people living with HIV in the north east that we have here at The Food Chain. It felt like a home from home. The ‘Food for Life’ project is going to be great, and we are proud to be part of it. We’ll keep you posted on how things develop.

We’ve had visitors this month too. The marketing team at the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) got in touch as they were keen to visit one of the projects they fund and they were keen to help out too. It is BLF funding that pays for our Eating Positively Cookery and nutrition classes, but with this team of 5 willing volunteers we put them to work at Eating Together, cooking and hosting. It was a cold and busy day and they did a great job, cooking up lovely hot dishes to our usual standard. They really enjoyed the visit , and might come back again. So all in all, another good day at Eating Together!

All our other services are running well too, with new referrals being received every day. We often see an increase in referrals in the winter months and it is good to know that the groceries we send and the delicious nourishing meals we prepare are really making a difference to people in difficult times. What a difference a hot meal makes. We’ve been looking at our statistics for the last year too, and have calculated that the time so generously given by Food Chain volunteers in 2014 increased our capacity by 32%. That’s the equivalent of having 3 more people working full time for us for the whole year. Amazing as always!

The recipe this month is a real winter warmer. A dish we sometimes serve at Eating Together, this Shepherd’s Pie is excellent on a winter’s evening. In my case, it was good for lunch the next day too, which also made it very good value for money.

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