05 Feb 2018
Punch and Juicy Liquid Foods are an award-winning social enterprise who aim to promote the benefits of healthy eating and drinking as well as teaching young people how to grow their own food. They pop up in various locations either as an outlet or in the form of a workshop facilitator offering interactive workshops for a range of age groups across London. Here, they tell us why they got involved with Kitchen Social.
What inspired you to join Kitchen Social?
There are so many fast food restaurants opening regularly in our local area, offering low cost food with equally low nutrition. It’s important to show kids and parents that healthier options are just as easy and quick to make as waiting in a queue for a meal combo. To know of the number of kids at risk of going hungry and think that fast food may be the closest option available is really what motivated us to join Kitchen Social. It really fits in well with what we do already, so we signed up, did the training and got running as soon as we could.
What was it like running your first holiday provision?
We ran sessions for different age groups ranging from 1 to 17 year olds. With the younger children, parents would also take part in the sessions. We encouraged them to get the children involved in the cooking and to get their hands dirty! Some of the parents wouldn’t usually cook with their children; often making them leave the kitchen when they’re at home. The children and parents really enjoyed the experience and bonded in a new way. We also had them out in the garden picking home grown potatoes and fresh herbs and cooking with them. Some of the children had to leave early and they were really upset – that really showed us just how much they valued an activity like this. Parents were also asking when we would be running the next sessions which was also great to hear. For the older kids, they got to do some of the cooking themselves. We had them go around and ask everyone what they wanted to eat as well as serving food to each other. It ran almost like a café, they really worked well together and it gave them a sense of responsibility. It was like pre-training them for employment.
What type of support did you receive locally?
Some of the parents that attended were really involved and wanted to support us in running the sessions. We helped a few of the parents to train in Food Safety and First Aid. It was fantastic that they were willing to help and even better that we could offer something back in the form of qualifications. We had food donations from people locally who had heard about what we were doing on social media. A very generous lady came down and gave us 78 pieces of chicken as well as ingredients for our soups which was so amazing.
What is your advice for someone who might be thinking of running a holiday provision?
Just do it! There is only so much you can have in place, but you won’t really know what you need until you’ve tried to run it. Even if it means only doing it for one session as a tester, go for it. Use what you’ve learned to prepare for the next one, so you know what has worked and what hasn’t. It might seem a bit scary at first but once you do a trial you will have a better idea of what you need to do next.