Broadstairs neighbours who set up a community group in February focused on cooking and affordable, quality ingredients have turned their hands to a grocery box delivery service during the Covid pandemic.
Kitchen Social Broadstairs was set up by residents including Lucy Gray, Paul Preston and ‘Grandma Fox.’ The group wanted to meet the need of supplying good quality ingredients, including fruit and vegetables, which were affordable and accessible to all of Thanet.
The initial focus was a community cookery club with talks on nutrition, sourcing affordable & good quality ingredients along with demonstrations and most importantly eating together. Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the club had to close in March.
Kitchen Social adapted to focus on providing the best quality and variety of food with a free home delivery service to those affected by Covid-19. The Greens & Grocery Box was born. The model of including fresh ingredients is now being replicated by Food Banks distributing food across Thanet.
Lucy said: “ It is about eating well, getting active and connecting with family and friends. Eating well is the first step to living a longer, healthier & happier life.
“We are not a charity. We are a community group set up to hold your hand, when in need, and add a little magic and sparkle through food.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have been able to provide good quality ingredients on a budget through good practice of sourcing the best suppliers in addition to using food surplus from Fareshare.
“We have the internal resource and experience to thoughtfully put meals and the recipe cards together which are included in the box. This is not just an ordinary food box: this is a Kitchen Social Recipe Box.
“The Boxes are themed each week. We have travelled to Italy, Mexico, Mediterranean, Thailand and more on our food adventure during the pandemic. The Recipe Box is about having fun, making memories and eating delicious, healthy meals together during a period, which was been challenging to say the least.”
There are three boxes on offer and each box is subsidised to ensure good value.
There is a £5 box with food worth £10. £10 box worth £20 and a £20 box worth £30. The box includes a recipe card with supplemental recipes on Facebook.
Kitchen Social includes additional ingredients so people can build up a larder. It has been so popular they are now delivering boxes to more than 100 residents in Thanet.
A second project launched in May is the Food programme. This project aims to catch those who had lost their employment and were struggling with Universal Credit or had still not received food parcels from the Government scheme. Once registered the programme supports people for up to eight weeks with a Mood & Food Box which is delivered to the home.
Lucy said: “The feedback on Facebook has been fantastic. Kitchen Social cannot ask for more.
“Kitchen Social has received referrals from Oasis Domestic Violence Service, The Garden Gate Project and East Kent Mind.
“Coming out of lockdown, we are looking to deliver a Weekend Box, find premises for a community cookery club and develop a mind diet: prioritising of greens, berries, nuts, beans, wholegrains, fish, poultry, olive oil with a modicum of red wine. According to the World Health Organisation, depression affects 264 million people worldwide and will be the second biggest cause of ill-health worldwide by 2021. We all need to take preventative action initially through good nutrition.
How to help
Join Kitchen Social Broadstairs on Facebook by making referrals to the Food Programme & by joining the Kitchen Social Family and ordering a Greens & Grocery Recipe Box.