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The Transforming power of The Food Chain

I think everyone who has been in contact with The Food Chain for any length of time knows how much the services we provide can help change people’s lives.

In one way, providing food and a friendly welcome with love and care is a very simple act, yet in another way, this simple act has the power to transform how someone is feeling both physically and emotionally.

I feel privileged to be able to meet our service users at the Eating Together service every week, and I never leave the kitchen on Wednesdays without having heard something uplifting, no matter how hard the circumstances are for some of our service users.

We have one person on service with us at the moment who seems a different man to the one who was referred to us earlier this year. At that time, George was at a very low ebb, recovering after a suicide attempt, and with wounds that were taking a very long time to heal. He was hardly eating anything, and had lost weight. He told us that there was no point in sending groceries to him as he wouldn’t use them. He would end up throwing them away. He had also decided not to start taking HIV medication even though his doctors were recommending that he should.

After several conversations with Zoe, who explained that his wounds would heal better if he could take on more protein in his diet, George started to use enriched milk (full fat milk, mixed with added skimmed-milk powder). He also gained enough trust in The Food Chain to come along to Eating Together, and within a few weeks he was beginning to feel much better and his wounds were healing. When I saw George a couple of weeks ago he told me that he has started HIV medication. Being at The Food Chain has helped him heal physically and emotionally, and the friendships he has made in the kitchen have helped him take steps to look after himself better than he was able to just a few months ago.

George is also dealing with some very difficult emotional issues, with a level of resilience he has not known before. He has really transformed his life, and is no longer in the dark place he was at the time he was referred to us. The Food Chain has helped him to do this. I think we can all feel proud and grateful that our work makes a difference.

Knowing this, to my mind, it is no wonder that our entire team of volunteers has been short-listed for a 2017 Team London Volunteer Award, organised by the Greater London Authority.

 What well deserved recognition for the fantastic contribution our hundreds of committed volunteers make to The Food Chain. The Awards ceremony will take place at City Hall on November 6th, hosted by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. We’ll let you know how it goes, but whether we win an award or not, there can be no doubt that our volunteers’ generosity and support helps transform people’s lives. Congratulations to all our volunteers on being short-listed. For The Food Chain you are our winners every day!