September 19 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Monday, July 7, 2014
Turning industrial sized tins into nourishing and appetizing meals comes naturally to Caritas Anchor House cook Sonia Huie.
She prepares breakfast and lunch for up to 119 residents of the homeless centre, customising her menu of meals based the food deliveries she receives each Thursday from FareShare donations.
The service, which redistributes food donated by Tesco customers alongside foodbank charity Trussell Trust, held a Neighbourhood Food Collection last weekend to encourage supermarket shoppers to hand over goods for those most in need.
Sonia, 54, has worked for the Barking Road centre since 2005, and says good food is vital to ensure the wellbeing of residents.
“Good food is very important, especially for breakfast because it is the first meal of the day,” she said. “Most residents don’t have the money to buy and prepare anything and you can’t live without food.”
Sonia, who lives in Manor Park, cooks vegetarian and meat options for breakfast (seven days a week) and lunch (five days a week) with just an assistant and the help of some of residents - with her specialities including lamb hotpot, lasagne and shepherd’s pie and the ever-popular fried fish on Fridays.
She says every donation is of great use, from mince to mushrooms and carrots to coffee.
Caritas Anchor House has benefited from a partnership with FareShare for the past five years and estimate that it saves them £12,000 annually.
Director Keith Fernett said: “Food has become a very important part of our community. We put food at the centre of what we do and make sure people don’t go hungry and all the rest of it.”
For more information about FareShare, visit fareshare.org.uk