Meal Makers, the project that connects communities through food, has arrived in Renfrewshire and they are on the lookout for new volunteers.
The community food sharing project was launched as a pilot project in Dundee in August 2014 and proved to be an instant hit across the city. It has since been launched in Glasgow, Perth and Kinross and now it being rolled out across Renfrewshire. The idea behind Meal Makers is really simple – they connect people who love cooking and want to be active in their community (‘Cooks’), with older (55+) neighbours (‘Diners’), who would appreciate home cooked food delivered to them every now and again.
So how does this work in practice? Well, when a Meal Makers cook is preparing their evening meal for themselves and their family, they will prepare one extra portion of their home cooking and take it round to an older neighbour at a time which suits both parties. Not only does the project provide a way for older adults to enjoy freshly prepared nutritious home cooking (particularly older adults who might find it difficult to enjoy home cooking otherwise), but it also helps bring communities together and combats the social isolation experienced by many members of the older population. How often meals are shared, and when they are shared is left entirely up to the Cook and Diner to decide between themselves. Meals are most commonly shared on a weekly basis, but they can occur fortnightly, monthly or just now and again.
Since launching the project over 140 Cook and Diner matches have been made, and over 1250 meals have been shared with older people through the project. Diners really enjoy participating in the project as they get to meet friendly neighbours, and get to enjoy their lovely home cooking. Cooks, on the other hand, really enjoy the flexibility the project allows – they like the way Meal Makers turns an everyday activity like cooking into a volunteering opportunity that they can do in their local community, and at a time in which they can fit around their busy schedule.
The Meal Makers team are really excited about rolling the project out to Renfrewshire and they are looking for volunteers now! If you want to do something great with an extra plate, or if you are interested in finding out a bit more about the project please visit www.mealmakers.org.uk. Alternatively you can phone Meal Makers on 0800 783 7770, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are what some of their Cooks and Diners say about the project:
“Russell went over and beyond my expectations, the meal was delicious and it was the first meal in ages I actually finished every last bit. I can’t believe that someone could be so kind.”
“Anne made some really sweet comments about Meal Makers such as she looks forward to it all week and it’s the only time she eats green vegetables! We had a great blether – I love Anne’s sense of humour!”
Andrew on being paired with Mary: ‘I’m incredibly appreciative of Meal Makers and being paired up with Mary. I really enjoy the meals but it is the company that makes the biggest difference’
“We ate afternoon tea together. Betty remarked that it’s nice to eat in company and it occurred to me that she eats nearly all her meals alone. I introduced her to “youtube” via my mobile phone and I said I can find anything she wants on there. She asked me to show her Susan Boyle first audition, which I did, and she was delighted as she is a fan and has always wanted to see it again.”