A contract catering company based in Bermondsey has re-opened as a community kitchen delivering hundreds of meals to self-isolating people across Southwark.
Fooditude normally supplies tech-media firms with catering options but closed its central kitchen on March 23 after dwindling orders form its clients in the weeks previously.
From early March onward the Ilderton Road-based company had already been sending surplus food out to charities including Foodcycle and OLIO.
After closing for business during the lockdown, the professional kitchen has now re-opened with the help of volunteers as a COVID-19 community kitchen.
The first 400 meals were delivered on April 3, an output the team say can be doubled within the next week. The kitchen has the capacity to make 2,000 meals a day with enough funding and volunteer support.
Hard push today & tomorrow to get #Fooditude-19 response off the ground. Preparing, cooking and delivering fresh food with love to those in #isolation #vulnerable ?@bedehouse? ?@foodcycle? all from #TheMotherShip #volunteers pic.twitter.com/5AevEnoZrM
— Dean Kennett (@deankennett) April 2, 2020
Managing director Dean Kennett said: “Shutting our doors was heart-breaking let alone eerie.
“It felt like all the hard work everyone has put in to get our business where it is today was being thrown away.
“I knew I had to do something quickly to change that mindset and pouring our efforts into charity work seemed like the best way to do it.”
Fooditude is working with Sam Vacciana from Bermondsey Employment Skills and Training (BEST) to distribute the food.
The two organisations have worked together for some time, with Fooditude offering traineeships for BEST’s employment skills students.
Sam explained: “We at BEST were delighted when Fooditude contacted us about helping connect them to community partners to donate some freshly cooked meals.
“We were able to distribute about 300 packed meals last Friday lunchtime to sheltered housing units and charities in Southwark.
“The feedback has been heart-warming and really helped with not just their residents’ morale, but the volunteers’ too!
“We hope that we will be able to continue to provide this bit of love and care by getting more meals out to those who most need them during these unsettling and often lonely times.”