How many lifetimes ago was the 23rd March 2020? In reality we’re only one month on, but so much has happened here at Heart of BS13 it’s hard to know where to begin. Once lock down was announced, we quickly took the decision to use our community kitchen to produce freshly prepared, frozen meals to support people in BS13 as they lost work, waited for benefits to start or began to socially isolate.
Our wonderful chef Kristjan (previously engaged on the Guerrilla Grub project) got on board immediately and enlisted the help of Luke, another talented Bristol chef, keen to support our work. The next two weeks passed in a blur of zoom calls, rapid fundraising and logistic planning, trying to get ahead of ourselves so that when the impact of lockdown hit, we would be ready to respond.
There are so many people to thank, and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness and contributions from our favourite folk across the Bristol catering and hospitality scene. Ingredients, freezers, kit, cool boxes, financial support and encouragement, it’s all coming our way. Weekly donations from Fareshare, Morrisons and numerous other retail outlets and food producers from around Bristol and the Chew Valley are all used to create hundreds of meals a week in a kind of scaled up, ready steady cook process, adapting what we receive with creativity and imagination.
Since we launched our food response on April 7th, 560 meals have gone out to almost 200 children and adults in BS13 and the numbers of people calling our dedicated phone line and contacting us on Facebook are increasing every day. We want people across Hartcliffe and Withywood who need this extra support to know that it’s a resource for them, available whenever they need it. And we want to thank our friends and partners for getting behind us to make it happen.