Hunger is a craving or need that most people experience, often on a daily basis. For the majority of people in the UK this need is satisfied pretty quickly with a snack or a meal. Indeed we, as caterers and food bloggers, like to exploit this craving by creating delicious meals and sharing our favourite recipes. Tragically there is a growing number of people in the UK, including children, who experience hunger on a daily basis – but they do not have the luxury of being able to eat when they are hungry. Parents go without food so that their children can eat. Children go to bed hungry. They go to school hungry. The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world yet we have people faced with the choice between hunger or the indignity of asking for help from charities. What can we do to help?
Plastic waste is damaging our planet. As a caterer I undoubtedly contribute to the pollution of our planet and I want to stop. But – can I afford to stop using plastic as the alternatives are more expensive? Although I enjoy catering, I work to earn money, and replacing the catering disposables I use with eco-friendly alternatives will cut into my profits. Will my customers embrace my efforts to be ‘plastic free’ and help absorb the increase in my costs? How much is it likely to cost me to say no to plastic? Here’s what I found out.
Charity begins at home. Many believe this proverb means that you should look after your family and friends first, but I would argue that it means that charity begins in the home where your children learn what charity really is. One of my daughters, a student, sent me this photograph a couple of days ago:
She explained that small boxes have been placed on each table at a Mexican restaurant called Ojo Rojo, where customers can donate to the charity ‘Wish for Water’. She told me that she and her friends put their loose change into the box. She said that she was happy to donate because although she could only afford to give away her loose change, she did not feel embarrassed at not being able to donate more. There was no pressure to donate – just the opportunity. Our conversation inspired me to write this post.
How caterers can help people suffering from food poverty and help save the environment.
Caterers tend to be very busy this time of year – ordering and preparing food to serve to their customers who are celebrating the advent of Christmas. But how much of this food will be wasted? How much will end up in landfills? Could some of the food be given to the homeless or others suffering from food poverty? I’m writing this blog because there are caterers who divert food destined for the landfill and make it available to those people in need, and I thought it might be of interest to you.
Homelessness is increasing significantly and foodbank use continues to rise. What can a caterer do to help? There are already a number of caterers helping others, so I decided to write a detailed post about what they do in the hope that it helps other caterers who may be thinking that they too want to help.
47 is the average age of death of a homeless person (Crisis)
4,134 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night (Homeless Link)
132% rise in rough sleepers since 2010 (Crisis)
16% rise in rough sleepers since 2015 (Crisis)
Over 125,000 homeless children living in Britain today (Shelter)
62% of single homeless people may not show up in official figures (Crisis)
These are just the statistics – the human suffering is immense. How many homeless people are there where you live and shop? How many pass by your cafe or restaurant on a daily basis? As a caterer, could you help just one person?
My aim is to save you money and to spread a bit of kindness.
We all need food to survive. We don’t have a choice – or do we? Can a caterer make a difference?
A quote from Harvey Specter of Suits – ‘You always have a choice’ got me thinking. (For those of you who have never heard of Harvey Specter, he plays the smooth, over-confident and hugely successful lawyer in the TV series Suits, with memorable one-liner quotes).
Does this apply to food? Yes it does. Some people are forced to make a choice between paying the rent or eating. Others are making choices to eat cheaper fast foods instead of more nutritious ones.
Does this apply to a caterer? Of course it does. From baking a cake, when you choose the recipe, ingredients and utensils you will use, to choosing a caterer to provide your wedding breakfast, you always have a choice.
If you have no financial constraints then the choice you make is relatively straightforward. The problem occurs when you know what you need or want but can’t afford it.
The important thing to remember here is that you may still have a choice – there may be other ways for you to get what you want. There may be others that can help (caring caterer’ ). You may have to ‘think outside the box’ and/or compromise, but there are often alternatives for you to consider.