Since the start of lockdown in March 2020, the staff at Legacy Youth Zone knew that there would be a need in the community having access to additional food resources. With the help and support of food donations from City Harvest, The Felix Project (previously known as Fareshare), and the Palace for Life Foundation – Legacy has been able to provide 10,000 meals to the community.

Whilst the facilities at Legacy Youth Zone were fully closed during Lockdown 1.0, staff were still able to come into the building, and whilst the Big Love Kitchen were no longer able to make daily £1 hot meals for members, they were able to utilise their time in supporting the community through Big Love Kitchen Cares.

Legacy Youth Zone CEO, Barnabas Shelbourne said “It’s been fantastic that through our food suppliers City Harvest and the Felix Project that we were able to continue to provide much needed food supplies to the community. Also working with the Palace for Life Foundation we were able to reach even more people and have exceeded our expectations through this project”.

Legacy Youth Zone has been able to support a wide range of groups within Croydon including:

  • Families of its members
  • Families with pregnant mothers
  • Individuals isolating due to health conditions
  • Individuals living in supported living or hostels
  • The elderly
  • Schools & other youth provision clubs

Some responses of those receiving parcels have been heart-warming with some saying:

“Thank you. I really appreciate it. Lockdown every little bit helps so thanks again.”

“Thank you so much you’ve been a life saver on so many occasions”

“I just want to say that I thank you very much for the support I received whole year, I can’t even put it into words. We are very grateful for the work of you and your team”

Many have collected on a weekly basis since March 2020, and others have taken this offer for only a few weeks until they no longer had the need for the service. In March, six schools received a top up of their supplies whilst offering free school meals to pupils and receiving three or four weekly parcels each; and Anerley Youth Club received ten parcels for their young people and families.

Additionally, food bank groups outside of Croydon including the Brixton Soup Kitchen were recipients of a large donation of canned non-perishable goods for them as they continue to provide hot meals, counselling and support throughout the community.

Volunteer and Staff Training Manager, Lisa Kirkland, who has been leading on Big Love Kitchen Cares said “When lockdown happened, it was a shock to the system for us all, and I am so happy that we were able to help and support the community around us by providing food parcels to anyone in need. 10,000 meals is such an incredible milestone over the past few months and I know it has helped many throughout this challenging time.”

Legacy Youth Zone will continue to do its best to support the community during this difficult time. As well, during the latest lockdown they are working with partners to deliver daily hot meals to young people identified as most in need.

Barnabas concluded “In 2021, there should be no family or individual that goes hungry, with everything rapidly changing we hope these meals have made an impact. We never anticipated we’d be providing over 10,000 meals during this time and for such a long time in this way to the community. I’m very proud of Lisa, and the Big Love Kitchen Cares team for being committed to this and providing a sense of normality to many; and it’s what Legacy is here to do.”

Want to support us?

You can support our work with the Big Love Kitchen Cares Project here.

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