Great food and true community
Here, in Lowerhouses Village in Huddersfield, in the week before half-term, we are gearing up to cook approximately 160 dinners over three days next week.
Over the last year we have cooked 1,340 dinners during school holidays for the children who come to our clubs and their families.
Food poverty is a fact of life for many of the families on our estate. For families who qualify for free school meals during term-time, the school holidays can create a real strain on budgets.
As a response to this, we work in partnership with Huddersfield Town Foundation and with One17 Design to cook and serve an average of 50 hot dinners and puddings each day for three days per week of the main school holidays.
Worth Unlimited is passionate about supporting the skills and talents that already exist in a community, building on what is already there, rather than highlighting problems and trying to ‘fix’ them (sometimes called ‘Asset Based Community Development’ or ABCD).
Our Huddersfield branch is a perfect example of this harnessing of the local talent. Our lead worker, Wendy, lives locally and is a member of the local church whose building we are based in. This half term Wendy will have four volunteers in the kitchen with her; they will be young people who have been learning to bake and cook at the Monday night Kids Cooking Club. They take the skills which they have developed over the course of the programme and use them to prepare and cook the meals, under Wendy’s eagle-eyed supervision.
The community involvement doesn’t end there: some of the local mums and dads who come to other weekly clubs (adult craft, healthy cooking and toddler groups) divvy up the remaining jobs. Some look after the babies and young children, some prepare the communal dinner table, others serve the meals and most take a turn doing the washing up at some point in the week.
The Kids’ Holiday Lunch Club could not happen without sponsorship from local businesses, without the hands and feet of the local people and without the passion and dedication of Wendy herself; it is genuinely a true community event.