St Mungo’s tackling Bristol homelessness
Better Food is committed to supporting community projects and non-for-profits. That is why in Organic September we held a fundraiser dinner for St Mungo’s homelessness charity. Here we asked them to share their experiences, and discuss the invaluable work they do.
A fabulous feast
“My name is Becky and I am a Peer Advice Link worker at St Mungo’s homelessness charity. I had the privilege of celebrating Organic September with Better Food last month at their Better Community Feast. And what a feast it was.
I attended with Matt, one of our Outside In volunteers that live in our hostels. Better Food head chef, Lou Marchionne and her team created a surprise menu made almost entirely from surplus organic food. And the food was sourced from the store and The Community Farm in nearby Chew Magna.
The atmosphere was fantastic and the food was amazing. It was hard to believe it was leftovers. The first course of wilted kale was zingy and beautifully textured, the main a wonderful warm stew. The desert, always my favourite, a crumble with wonderful summer fruits.
Throughout the evening people shared their stories. The talk on organic meat from the Well Hung Company really was food for thought. And Ped from The Community Farm inspired me to try to get more involved with my food. It has challenged me to think differently about my food choices and to make more responsible choices about where my food comes from.
Matt and I were invited to talk about St Mungo’s and the work we do. I think it’s fair to say that Matt’s lived experience of being homeless moved people. The other dinner guests were humbled by his story. And they were impressed with how he has pieced his life back together.
The meal was such a great experience for all of us. For Matt part of his recovery is to reconnect with the community and to feel part of it. I think this evening helped him as much as his life story impacted others. Matt said he had never been to a restaurant before, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience and vowed to go out more. For all of our clients it is the small things that matter. And a simple meal out, something many of us do without a second thought, can be a huge milestone.
Tackling homelessness with St Mungo’s
All proceeds from the meal were donated to St Mungo’s and it raised a whopping £500 – which is fantastic. Our work in Bristol is aimed at helping homeless and vulnerable people. We offer a place to call home and provide access to support so they can fulfil their hopes and ambitions. In Bristol the number of people sleeping rough has increased dramatically over the past 5 years. So we have opened two new night shelters to reduce the impact. Because these services rely on great fundraising events like this we were so thankful for the support.
I am proud to work for a charity that offers a holistic approach to recovery. Tell all your friends about us. We run free workshops at our Recovery College, an innovative project that provides a safe and inclusive learning opportunity for the people we work with and anyone in the community. And we are just about to start the Autumn Term now and you can see what’s on offer here.
Thanks to Danni, Better Food’s community officer, for making us feel welcome and for all the Better Food team. It was a great night for everyone and one we will remember for a long time to come.