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Christmas Carols at St Paul's

Thank you to everyone who made this years’ service on 8 December another very special occasion.

We would like to highlight the contributions made by St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, Nick Gallagher, Simon Gutteridge and the choir, as well as our volunteers, and readers on the night - Jay Rayner, Luke Goymer, Charles Grant and Ignacio Saiz.

Ignacio read in memory of his friend Ruben Graña, who sadly passed away in November. Ruben was a loyal supporter of The Food Chain for many years. He never missed our annual Carol Service and many of his friends were in attendance again this year. May he rest in peace.

Last but by no means least, thank you to everyone who came along to our Carol Service and who made a donation in exchange for a copy of Nourish, our Cookbook. £1436 was kindly donated on the evening, and we were delighted to receive a cheque for a further £1700 from the National Association of Care Catering in support of our work.

You can view photographs from the evening on our Facebook page, here.

Harriet Jones, Chair of Trustees, also spoke at our Carol Service:

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us this evening to celebrate another year in the life of The Food Chain.

Our kitchen at Acorn House has now been operational for three years – and this is long enough for us to know that the services it makes possible have a real impact on people’s lives. The kitchen is a vibrant, warm and friendly place for everyone who walks in the door, whether as a volunteer, a service user, a staff member or a Food Chain supporter. All are equally welcome. There is no doubt that lives are changed for the better through attendance at our Eating Together meals and Eating Positively nutrition and cookery classes. Our grocery deliveries are, at times, a lifeline for those who receive them.

This year we have found new ways of sharing our work and telling The Food Chain story.

Here are the words of Phil, who is currently on service with us:

“I love to share all the information and learning I am gaining from my time well spent at the [Eating Positively] classes. These are always followed by a hearty meal prepared by a team of awesome and amazing volunteers who want to help others who are challenged, like myself, with HIV. No matter how much we think we already know about HIV and food, there is always room for more to be learned.

"To have known The Food Chain for the many, many years I have been HIV Positive, I once again feel compelled to say 'Thank You' for all the love and support I feel when I enter into the doors of The Food Chain in Kings Cross.

“Why I am still here I will never know, but while I have life and have the support of people and organisations like the Food Chain, I will always have a heart of thankfulness and gratitude in knowing there are people out there that care, and care for me personally”.

The short film we have made this year also tells of our impact, and I urge you to take a look on our website or Facebook page if you haven’t seen it yet.

The testimonies of our service users are the most powerful and moving way we have of saying thank you to everyone who supports The Food Chain. These life stories are our story too, and we are immensely grateful for the generosity of spirit and the courage that people show in sharing their lives with such openness and honesty. We are very proud of everyone who helps tell our story in this way.

We are proud too, of the newly published Food Chain Cookbook. For many people here today it has been a long held dream to see our recipes in print, and we are delighted with the result. Like everything we do at The Food Chain, the book is the product of a huge amount of time and talent contributed by very many people. Thank you to each and every one who helped create this culinary delight. It has been a labour of love, and we very much hope you will make good use of the book in your kitchens for many years to come. And each time you use it, please remember that your support of The Food Chain changes lives.

What better ingredient could there be, than that?

Thank you, and bon appétit!"