Congratulations to Sufra NW London who have sent me this news:
Yesterday the title of this email was 10 tonnes. But in the last 24 hours is has evolved to exceed 15 tonnes. Well, 15.442 tonnes to be precise. That’s how much food has been raised in the last month, thanks to the generosity of the local Muslim community during the month of Ramadan, which comes to a close this weekend.
It's been competitive and we've heard stories of hanky-panky antics at local mosques. Scroll down for more...
Building St. Raphael’s Edible Garden
We’ll soon be unveiling the landscape design for our new food growing project on St. Raphael’s Estate!
To be the first to see the design (and our new water supply which is being installed next week) we need a little help clearing the final debris on the site in preparation for the first raised beds and planting.
The final clear-up will take place on Saturday and Sunday 25/26 July and you’re welcome to join us for just a few hours or the whole day. There will be plenty of pizza and refreshments so make sure you register for the lunch-time slot on the rota! We’re also hiring a rotavator (it’s basically a plough with the horse replaced by a motor) so if you know how to use one, please get in touch.
To volunteer for the clean-up weekend, click here.
A yet to be disclosed local company is sending over a carpenter to run a workshop for 20 people on how to build raised beds on Wednesday 29 July, with the first plants hitting the soil on the same day.
If you want to go down in history for the planting the first tomato plant, click here. Although you should probably sign up for the clean-up as well. You have to do some graft for the glory.
Colleen & Matt Take the #FoodParcelChallenge
Our two friends from MyLotto24 have decided to live for 5 days on a typical food bank parcel from next week to experience the reality of food poverty in the UK (for those who manage to get to the food bank!). Check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts for daily updates on how they’re getting on.
They’re also raising money for the food bank, so show your love and sponsor them here.
Remember, you can do the #FoodParcelChallenge any time of the year! All you have to do is pick a week, let us know, and we’ll send you a typical food parcel.
Together, let’s raise awareness of the tragedy of food poverty in the community. For more information on how to take part, click here.
If you missed last year’s Summer Academy, it’s back! (in partnership with Innisfree Housing Association and the Head Start programme run by the Challenge)
The Summer Academy is an intergenerational project that celebrates food growing and experimental cooking. Across 4 glorious sessions, we’ll visit Sudbury Court Drive Allotment to harvest fresh produce (courtesy of Michael and Patrick’s frantic efforts since early February) to cook a delicious meal (well, that’s open to interpretation). Though I must confess, Jim’s Irish potatoes are to die for. Quite literally, when you think about how much butter goes into them.
What’s more, there are no chefs and no recipes! It’s truly experimental and a chance for people to learn cooking skills from one another. Or watch, and be entertained. Last year, Tanzeel used a blender for the first time, and got strawberry milkshake all over his face.
The Summer Academy is open to young people aged 11-19 years and older people aged 60+ years... but we’re happy to slip in a few eager beavers. You can attend as many or as few sessions as you like, so why not give it a try?
The sessions run from 10am to 4pm on: Tuesday 4 August, Thursday 6 August, Tuesday 11 August and Thursday 13 August. To take part, download a Registration Form here.
Ramadan Food Collections
It’s been a vicious month as local mosques have competed and sweated to outbid one another in their generosity. There’s also been a little hanky-panky with bags of rice disappearing from one mosque and emerging at another and the mysterious 500g packs of lentils from ******* Mosque, which weighed over 3kg. The perennial rivalry between Harrow Mosque and Stanmore Mosque was settled in the early hours of the morning, each congregation raising 3,600kg and 4,058kg respectively. This year’s newest contender, Hendon Mosque, raked in 1,852kg in one night!
Our stock rooms are bursting to the brim, and we are very grateful to all those who supported our food collections during Ramadan, including the many individuals and families who visited us with their donations.
We’re also grateful to Pick & Save on Kenton Road for donating 1,300kg of sugar and pasta and Waitrose and Marks & Spencer in Brent Cross who have set up temporary collection points until Sunday 9 August.
We’re Moving In
It’s taken a while, but our newly refurbished building is almost ready. It’s looking amazing (if I might say so).
Over the next week or so, we’ll be shifting all our services across. There’s been a lot of excitement around the new building, so if you’d like to come and visit us, get in touch, and we’ll arrange a private viewing.
Linguists (or speakers of other languages) Needed
Following last week's appeal, some truly talented linguists (and some more dubious) have been busy translating our Food Lists into different languages. And they keep coming in! In fact, I can just see Ali's Arabic translation in my inbox now.
Over 120 languages are spoken in North West London and there's still a few prominent languages we need to account for. So if you speak (and type) any of the following, we want to hear from you:
Gujarati, Urdu/Hindi, Tamil, Russian, Romanian and Somali
We’d like to wish our Muslim donors and supporters, a joyous Eid al-Fitr. Thank you for your generosity throughout Ramadan.