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October 2014: Thank you from The Food Chain

To my mind, this time of year has a special feel to it at The Food Chain. Each year we prepare for World Aids Day with gratitude and thanks for all the generous support we have received throughout the year and with a deep appreciation for all the people we have met – service users and volunteers alike – who make The Food Chain the vibrant and life affirming community that it is. Your unceasing commitment, energy and support is what sustains The Food Chain and makes our work possible so this month I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you.

At the same time as celebrating our community, we are mindful too of the loss that resonates every year on this commemorative day, full of the memories we have of loved ones we have lost. As we go about our business we quietly celebrate their lives and the lives of all those who have been lost to the virus.  I was in Liverpool this month for a meeting about the AIDS memorial quilt and also to see an exhibition marking 30 years of the community response to HIV in Merseyside. Curated by Sahir House in partnership with others, this is a moving snapshot of the lives of people affected by HIV in one area. Sahir House do great work in continuing to support people living with HIV – if you happen to be in Liverpool, do take a look or follow the link (here) to their Facebook Page to read more.

We also held our AGM in October and perhaps the most striking thing about looking back on the past year is the fact that the demand for our services has greatly increased compared with the previous year. 37 % more referrals means an extra 183 households in need of our support in difficult times.  In a year when we have less income but greater demand we are continually striving to do “more for less”.

As well as welcoming three fantastic new Trustees, we have also been delighted to welcome our newest patron to The Food Chain. It’s great to have the support of Jack Monroe. So many of her recipes are both delicious and very economical – it’s a perfect match!  I thought I should celebrate the occasion by trying one myself this month, using what I had in my kitchen. I opted for the aubergine and chickpea curry and followed Jack’s tip that red lentils could be a good substitute for chickpeas as I had one but not the other! The result was yummy and very warming on one of our colder days.

Thanks Jack, and welcome to The Food Chain!

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