National Food Service London is a collective of Londoners, food-lovers and community activists and organisers. We believe that together we can build a food system that is sustainable, resilient and fundamentally organised by the same community that it benefits.
During the pandemic, our emergency food response supported 1,406 people in crisis. Now we are turning towards building resilience and capacity in our community.
We dream of a world where emergency food provision is no longer necessary - instead of communities that plant, grow, nurture, harvest, cook, and share all the food we need to thrive. We need your help to make this possible.
Our Community Cooks Crowdfunder will raise funds to:
- Print 200+ copies of our Community Cooks Handbook (on recycled paper)
- Create a Seed-Pot for our Community Cooks to get their food justice initiatives off the ground.
The Community Cooks Programme
To realise our vision, over the last year we have developed and piloted the Community Cooks Programme with 22 participants in three community centres in Hackney and Islington.
This programme aims to empower local food-lovers and activate community action through community building, knowledge sharing, practical action and learning, mentoring and experimentation.
Through this programme participants not only gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to cook for their community, they also co-design and plan their own food justice project and become part of a supportive network of Community Cooks. At the end of the programme, participants are motivated, prepared and excited to bring their project into the world.
What our Community Cooks say...
"We need to learn to take the time to give food the time"
"It is so nice to be part of something where everyone feels so equal, in terms of decision making, planning, well everything really.. so positive. I've loved reading through the excellent handbook.”
"Did you know you can eat beetroot tops? We consider so many things inedible and it creates even more waste."
"This is what community cooking is. Learning from each other. Sharing with each other."
These quotes were contributed anonymously by participants during our Community Cooks workshops. You can help make more moments like this possible!
The Community Cooks Handbook, a resource supporting the programme, is an open-source 100+ pages of work representing the culmination of words, stories, testimonies, and recipes from two main writers (Sean Roy Parker and Will Dorman), and 30+ contributors. This resource is available to anyone that will find it useful.
While the resource is currently available online, we need funds to be able to print it and share it far and wide! We hope to Risograph print at least 200 copies of the Handbook on recycled paper.
Bringing Community Cooks projects to life
One huge barrier to starting new projects is having the funds to do so. Our Community Cooks have told us they do not know where to find funding or how to access it. While we offer support to apply for funding as part of the programme, we have created the Community Cooks Seed-Pot for Community Cooks to get their initiatives off the ground.
By having funds readily available, we can catalyse dynamic community action that is not dependent-on or restricted-by funders. In this way, we address inequalities in the current funding system. And, most importantly, we create space for members of our community to experiment, learn, demonstrate their idea works, and build community and connections around the project. This ensures Community Cooks will both be much better placed to successfully apply for funding in the future and not be solely reliant on funders to ensure the project's survival.
With the designs and preparations for at least 8 new Community Cooks projects underway in Hackney, Islington and Haringey and more Community Cooks Programmes expected to happen throughout the summer, we are hoping to fundraise at least £7,500 for the Community Cooks Seed-Pot. By donating to this Crowdfunder, you will be part of bringing Community Cooks projects to life - from food growing to community meals and lunches to cooperatives to intergenerational food workshops!
Help breathe life into the following Community Cooks projects:
- Community meals at a Hackney synagogue
- Community food growing & cooking together in Crouch Hill and Islington
- Chop, cook and chat workshops facilitating cultural exchanges and exploring food justice
- Women’s food coop
- Organic produce social enterprise
This is how we grow a food system that is equitable, sustainable and resilient.
In order to raise funds, we would like to invite you donate to this Crowdfunder.
We have National Food Service London merchandise available for our supporters! Here's what we offer and our suggested donation amounts:
- £7 for a poster (recycled paper)
- £10 for a copy of the Risograph printed Community Cooks Handbook (recycled paper)
- £20 for a screen-printed NFS t-shirt (organic cotton)
All donations will go toward the funding of printing the handbooks and into a seed-funding pot for Community Cooks to bring their projects to life.
This crowdfunder and the rewards offered will be accessible to anyone who wants to participate. If you determine that you are unable to contribute the specific amount listed but would still like a poster, handbook, or t-shirt, please email us at [email protected] and we will sort it out, no questions asked. We only ask that you donate what you feel able to, and we will handle the rest!
In order to distribute the rewards, we will hold a collection party in London on Sunday, August 22. Exact details to be confirmed, but expect food, fun, and community. Save the date!
For those interested in shipping, please send us an email to [email protected] with your shipping details and we will get back to you about the cost to ship. We ask that shipping requests be limited to those living outside London. Those living in London should plan to come to the collection event on Sunday, August 22.
We are so grateful for the solidarity we have experienced since beginning emergency food provision last April. While we have cooked over 25,000 meals and distributed fresh groceries, we all know that the work has only begun.
We stand in solidarity with all members of our community.
Help us revolutionize the food system!