For the second year running Belazu have helped Make Lunch, a charity that provides free, healthy, hot meals to children who are eligible to receive free school meals during the school term.
We were once again at the Barnet kitchen that last year served their 5000th meal. It is run entirely by volunteers and donations and marked 5 years of operation on April 13th 2018. Our involvement has seen us donate money and our staff, who once again, help supervise activities, games and mealtimes, when they will also sit down and share a meal with the children.
It’s easy to underestimate just how vital this work can be, which in some cases, can see children go without a freshly prepared meal for a day or even longer. As well as feeding the children directly there is an aim to nourish their learning by teaching them some simple food preparation, something that can’t be taken for granted as happening at home (especially in this continuing age of pre-prepared meals) Even learning how to make a “crumpet pizza” may be enough to de-mystify cooking, spark a child’s curiosity and lead to a lifetime of enjoying making their own fresh food.
Karen Hedges, the leader of the Barnet Kitchen won a fully deserved Directory of Social Change award last year. It’s easy to dip in and out of these children’s lives in the way that we do, the real constant and the real change comes from Karen and her co-workers, who are there every holiday, building confidence, making meals, sweeping floors, wiping away tears, teaching responsibility, little by little, bit by bit.
It remains a privilege to be allowed to engage with the volunteers and children and we look forward to the next holiday.