About Feast with Us
Five years ago, Hannah Style, RD, became concerned about the rising malnutrition in North London and founded FEAST With Us, a registered charity to provide vulnerable individuals with access to food. She wanted to create a supportive space where those also suffering from food poverty could get a hearty meal while also having the opportunity to learn how to cook with others.
She also wanted to provide a platform for vulnerable adults to engage regularly with nutrition, aiming to ameliorate the negative health consequences of food insecurity in the short-term, and food illiteracy in the long-term. Unlike food banks, FEAST With Us provides a safe, social space where vulnerable adults can cook and eat together, a unique opportunity for marginalised individuals to benefit from the dignity of food choice, the opportunity to learn cooking skills and nutrition theory and develop confidence in the kitchen.
Why Feast with Us was nominated
For the last five years FEAST with Us has been successfully providing that space, mobilising hundreds of volunteers and facilitators to cook and eat nutritious meals with vulnerable individuals in various community centres and hostels across London. Meals were cooked and eaten by volunteers and vulnerable individuals as a community, using surplus food donated by local food retailers and distributors. Feast with Us created a platform where individuals were nourished not just by food, but also through a safe and collaborative environment which facilitates learning and sharing.
FEAST With Us had to pause community gatherings during Covid-19, and have instead delivered food parcels from multiple centres across London boroughs, to people referred by local councils and community centres. FEAST With Us has partnered with an ever-increasing number of London-based homeless shelters, mental health community centres and faith and non-faith organisations supporting vulnerable adults. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 FEAST With Us has been declared an essential service and is now a ‘food hub’ across many London Boroughs. Demand for services has increased by 300%. During the height of the pandemic, FEAST With Us was serving some 2000 meals per week to vulnerable individuals across five boroughs, intercepting over 3000 kg of surplus food from going to landfill.
FEAST With Us also partnered with UCL and KCL Nutrition and Dietitics Departments to collaboratively evaluate FEAST! services. They have conducted several audits and disseminated findings to local government to inform food policy at a ground level, to enable improved local partnerships, and support more vulnerable people at risk of malnutrition. Beneficiaries are often the forgotten ones in society, those suffering from food poverty with a range of complex vulnerabilities including homelessness, physical and learning disabilities, physical and mental ill-health, and substance abuse.
What Feast with Us has to say…
“In multiple sites across London, FEAST With Us (FEAST) provides nutritious community meals using surplus food, eating with vulnerable and homeless people before lockdown, and now distributing food parcels. We thank our volunteers and staff who continue to fight food poverty and deliver vital FEAST services to relieve hardship as the need grows.” Hannah Style, Founder and Chairwoman of FEAST With Us,
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Edited by Kathy Lewis