Twelve months later

Reflecting upon the first year of Edible London Food Hub

By Alex Fox, food hub coordinator, Edible London

If you head right off Broad Lane at the Deli Co, past Bodyworks Gym, then turn left at the end, you will see a dark passage lined with shutters. Behind one of these shutters is Highway House – part homeless shelter, part Church.

Every Thursday for the past year, a group of dedicated volunteers from Edible London have brought joy and energy to this unusual space, handing out freshly prepared meals to anyone in the community. We do not ask questions, everyone is welcome.

We started off a year ago handing out 300 meals to passers-by. We serve all, from families to local artists, and in twelve months we have distributed over 18,000 meals. We’ve grown from beginning as an experiment, to managing queues of people waiting for freshly prepared food, cooked on site with our partner chef Jax from Island Flavours.

At Edible London Food Hub, we believe no matter who you are, you could benefit from an evening of not having to cook, using that time to spend with family, friends or by yourself. Being cooked for should not only be available to those who can afford it – we could all do with a free meal.

The solidarity, passion and love we have encountered has been staggering. Regular beneficiaries who began collecting a meal for themselves, have become food activists, taking ten meals and giving them out to their friends and neighbours. Bringing inspirational people from across Haringey together and allowing them to lead the change they want to see, has been one of the highlights of the food hub.

None of this would be possible without the hard work of staff and volunteers at Edible London, from the distribution team working behind the scenes, to the committed volunteers welcoming the community. We have relied on the support of key partners, such as Food For All, People’s Army and Island Flavours.

Our success handing out food tells a sad story, as we are seeing many people from a wide range of backgrounds relying on food support. The impact of the pandemic has been brutal; we are serving more people who have lost jobs and income, more people who are not eligible for official support, and more who are slipping further into poverty.

In our second year, we will carry on getting food to those who need it at Highway House. We advocate for creating a sustainable, local economy that works for the people of Tottenham because long term change is needed to tackle these issues.

Edible London Food Hub operates on Thursdays, 12.30-15.30 at Highway House, Unit 8, 2–8 Fountayne Road, N15 4QL, and on the last Thursday of every month. They will now be distributing food from St Ann’s Library, Cissbury Road, N15 5PU, 14.30–17.30.

To volunteer or donate: visit ediblelondon.org/support-us