‘Distance Dining’ in Greenwich during lockdown

Staff Reporter (15 May, 2020)

“I asked some of those living close by if they’d be interested in preparing one communal dish a week and splitting it into portions to share and was surprised when they all jumped at the chance!"

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The Greenwich Co-Operative Development Agency’s programme head Gary Mack is finding inventive ways to keep up his culinary connections during lockdown.

Gary, who joined the GCDA as a volunteer five years ago, has always had a passion for food and loves cooking up a storm for big get-togethers. When lockdown was announced, he soon realised that he, like many of his friends, depended on food for his sense of well-being and so he came up with the idea of Distance Dining to help prevent isolation.

“I really missed the sense of community that comes from sharing food, something that’s always been at the heart of what GCDA is about. Initially I was dropping off essentials to a few friends whilst doing my daily exercise or weekly shop, but soon I started adding in little treats, like some homemade bread,” he said.

“I asked some of those living close by if they’d be interested in preparing one communal dish a week and splitting it into portions to share and was surprised when they all jumped at the chance! I ordered us glass containers which can go straight into the oven and we time deliveries to fit in with our work commitments, dropping off at a distance. We now have five home-cooked meals a week and love sharing our reactions to each other’s food. It’s really helped us all feel cared for – a hug on a plate.”

Gary spoke about his Distance Dining on BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme on May 14. Read more of Gary’s food blog at www.garysgrub.com

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