What is the problem?
There are four main victims of social inequality in Bristol; the homeless community, those suffering from poor mental health, youth, ethnic minorities and refugees.
- Number of homeless people increased by 128% in the past three years.
- On a national level 1 in 4 people in England experience mental health problems of some kind each year.
- Local data shows 18% have below average mental well-being, but it rises to 28% in the most deprived area.
- Bristol has the highest number of children claiming free school meals in the South West and amongst the highest proportion in the country at nearly 20 per cent, with around 26,000 living in poverty.
- 1 in 5 people living in Bristol identity with ethnic groups other than white British.
More than 1 in 30 (3.5) of households in Bristol suffer from severe food insecurity, and more than 1 in 14 (7.3%) experienced moderate or severe food insecurity
Coming together to share and enjoy food has long been a central feature of almost every society across the world and has been threatened by the COVID-19 crisis. Government estimates suggest that 20% of adults will need some form of mental health support following the pandemic, which is still ongoing at the time of writing. The effect of the pandemic is likely to exacerbate divisions in experience of mental health already present in Britain. Studies have identified that those in the lowest socio-economic classes are most likely to experience a mental health problem in their life, reaching up to 73% for those in the lowest income bracket.
The need for a city-wide approach to tackling food insecurity and isolation has therefore never been so important. The same problems caused by the pandemic that have meant FDCK have not been able to begin operation are the same issues that mean it is so important that it begins work.
How WE can make a change:
Fat Dads Community Kitchen is a new local charity in Bristol that aims to tackle four main victims of social inequality in Bristol. Our vision is to offer our business as a “Vehicle For Change” – as we want to promote conversation, wellbeing and skills development over a shared love of food - all served from the back of a converted American school bus.
The aim of the project is to provide a safe space for meaningful conversation, sharing, skills development and training all while enjoying great food cooked and served from the bus. The bus will be running as revenue-generating Fat Dad’s Kitchen (FDK) to provide the funds to run the charity community kitchen (FDCK).
Fat Dads Community Kitchen will also bring the food of our many different ethnic groups in Bristol to the fore. Collaborating with many Community leaders and ‘good home cooks’ to offer the opportunity to present their cuisine to a wider audience. Through a shared love of food we hope to break down barriers, providing an opportunity for a greater understanding of the many different cultures within our City, Hopefully, giving impetus for some to pursue a career in catering, developing skills and passion that could potentially lead to bigger and greater business opportunities to the local community.
This is what we also plan to do with people suffering from Mental Health problems, to offer a safe space to learn skills both personal and professional. Provide a purpose for those who feel they’re lost, with a view to work placements throughout kitchens within Bristol.
Providing a weekly ‘soup kitchen’ utilising potential collaborations with FareShare South West and other commercial kitchens/restaurants, using residual foods to create nutritional food to those in dire need and thus, helping to reduce food wastage.
FDCK wants to make their services open to the wider community. This is a long-term aim because we are a newly established charity, therefore we are still ascertaining our scope as a charity.
FDCK is partnered with the ‘no child should go to school hungry’ campaign aiming to alleviate the impact of the current free school meals crisis. In this moment of social instability and political turbulence, FDCK wants to offer some assurance that your students can access hot and nutritious meals as well as a social hub. Additionally, we understand that for a lot of socially excluded children from impoverished backgrounds inequality does not start and end with school meals, therefore, we as a charity want to offer much more.
The mobile nature of the bus means FDCK will be operating primarily in more deprived areas in and around Bristol, covering areas typically underrepresented by ambitious projects such as this.
It is especially pertinent given the immense isolation experienced by people in current times that the Bristol community works together to combat social inequality.
In order to get us there, we require some funding to complete the build, whilst Covid has limited the options of fundraising, we would be most grateful for any donations to help us reach our goal of launch early next year.
Currently all money raised will go towards the completion of the bus only, in order to get it fully operating.
Click here to an article in the Bristol 24/7 about FDCK that will provide you with some more information.
If you’d like to get involved with the project or talk to us about volunteering, please contact us via Twitter @FatDadsKitchen or email email@example.com