The positive impact our community lunches are having on residents06 January 2023
Leah Campbell, Heath & Wellbeing Project Co-ordinator at A2Dominion, has been instrumental in running these events and explains the impact it has had on residents and the local community.
Why are these events so important?Leah said: “The lunches provide a lovely atmosphere and offer people the chance to socialise with their friends as well as meet new ones. Conversations flow, there is food and a warm space where all are welcomed free of charge.
“It’s amazing to see communities of residents from the same street arranging to meet, they share transportation and even plan things together outside of the community lunches. For some, this is the highlight of their month, they get dressed up and look forward to seeing different faces as the isolation that they face from day to day is forgotten for a short while.”
Who are Surplus to Supper?Surplus to Supper is a charity that aims to bridge the gap between food waste and food poverty. The charity was founded in 2017 and it currently collects and donates an average of 10 tonnes of food per week, this is redistributed to foodbanks, schools, care homes, shelters, refuges, and many other worthy causes.
Leah said: “There is a team of volunteers who provide such warmth and kindness. No one goes away empty handed and there are lunch boxes that can be filled with food to take away. Customers can also help themselves to a table full of goodies on their way out. Sunbury neighbours have volunteer drivers who assist with transporting our less mobile residents to and from the lunches.”
What impact has the events had on residents?Leah said: “It has been heart-warming to see the change in confidence for some residents and the difference that human interaction can make is immeasurable. I’m forever receiving messages of thanks for our efforts, but a text received from one resident after the Christmas lunch is by far the most heart-warming.
“It said ‘thank you for a great Christmas dinner, sorry I left in a hurry. I realised that was the first Christmas dinner, and meal that I had eaten in company for over 20 years! It made me emotional’.”