April 2013: Looking to the future
I’ve now been in post for four months and it feels like I have had a really good grounding in how The Food Chain works and what some of the very many achievements have been over a rich 25 year history – not least the recent bold step of moving into Acorn House and gaining the asset of the kitchen. I have met many people and heard many stories of The Food Chain - though I know this is just a small part the organisation’s long narrative. So much has been achieved over the years and there is much to be done to make the most of where we are now. So my thoughts along with those of others are turning to the future – not just in terms of how we will meet our goal of expanding the meal delivery service to other days of the week but also our longer term future from 2014 onwards when our current Strategic Plan as set out in “Responding to need” reaches its conclusion.
With that future very much in mind I joined our Management Committee on a sunny Saturday in April to start the discussion and planning for the next chapter in The Food Chain story. It was a very good day indeed. The skill, experience and commitment of each and every committee member is impressive and inspiring. And there was new involvement too from volunteers committed to making a success of the kitchen. I came away from the day with a clear vision of where we all want The Food Chain to be going. Expanding the service and maximising the use of kitchen to generate income to support the charity remains the driving force and there are some exciting ideas about how we might do both.
With the support of the team –paid staff and volunteers alike – I will be leading on the detailed planning needed for success in the coming few months. Throughout the process we will be sharing our ideas and keeping people informed about our plans, so watch this space. It’s likely to be a busy time with lots going on!
The kitchen is increasingly hosting fundraising events – our second pop up picnic supported by MTV was a great success and the first of our quiz nights attracted a large and entertaining audience as teams took to the floor in the ‘mystery vocal round’. Sounds interesting? Better get a table at the June 13th quiz - who knows what the next mystery will be?
This month I decided to cook a vegetarian dish to help with the uptake of my five-a-day. The vegetable and chickpea tangine was very quick and easy to prepare. I have a limited imagination when it comes to cauliflower (usually involving cheese) so it was good to find an alternative recipe – and the vegetables really soak up the spices and sauce very well. It was positively yummy and highly recommended.