Rosida (a volunteer) and Paul (a trustee) from the Christian Kitchen charity based at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Northcote Road, E17 6PQ visited us at the Elmsdale Road house to talk about the work of the charity, and also, in Rosida's case, about some research she is doing into women's experience of domestic abuse and how it can be stopped.
The Christian Kitchen was started 25 years ago by a lady who saw a man asleep in an empty garage, and, worried for this health, made a hot dinner for him and left it outside the garage. The next day the food was gone.
This exchange occurred every day for a while until she asked if there were others like him who lived on the street and had no access to hot food. She was shocked to find out just how many people there were living on the streets in her local area and enlisted the help of her church and the YMCA to start a movement. This movement became the Christian Kitchen.
The YMCA is no longer involved in the charity's work, but a large team of unpaid volunteers from over 15 churches of all denominations, as well as members of the general public not associated with a place of worship, still head out each and every night to feed those less fortunate than themselves.
With no help from government and no grants, the funding of the Christian Kitchen comes entirely from the donations of local churches, small businesses, borough schools and individuals. Its mission is to feed homeless and marginalized people in Waltham Forest. Every night the purpose-built catering van makes its way to the top of Walthamstow Market to serve a hot three course meal to those who need it the most. Each night the charity feeds around 50 – 70 people.
The Christian Kitchen's web page can be found at http://www.christiankitchen.co.uk/ where there is information on how to donate to the charity's work, how to volunteer, where to take donations of food and how to contact them by either email or telephone.
The Christian Kitchen Van