This year has been unlike any other. The Larder started the year by celebrating the cafes 1st Birthday in February, with lots of plans for more of our popular feast nights, hospitality courses and cooking classes for children.
March 2020 was the turning point at which most businesses knew change was coming – When the virus hit, Kay at the Larder thought her Preston cafe and food hub was over. A month on and the Larder is supplying hundreds of emergency food deliveries, frozen meals and even cooking classes for kids: “I’m hopeful something amazing is emerging.”
- Saturday March 14th 2020 – This is the start. A post goes out on the Larder Facebook page – we want to get cooked, nutritious meals out to our most vulnerable residents in Preston. A phenomenal response with more than 30 volunteers coming forward within 24 hours.
- Monday March 16th – The Larder hosted a Zoom meeting with many local businesses and organisations to put forward our idea of delivering cooked nutritious meals to our community.
- Wednesday March 18th – the Larders Cooking For Our Community Crowdfunder launched and what an amazing response!! – we raised £8420 from 179 supporters in 28 days
- March 23rd – over 300 cooked, nutritious meals cooked and delivered in the first week.
- March 31st – we knew all schools had closed by this point and for many families this was adding additional pressure; often reliant on free school meals to feed their kids, but also to help support the whole family with their mental health by cooking and eating together the Larder decided to move our Kids in the Kitchen Holiday Hunger Program online and within just 7 days we have everything in place – recipes, videos and ingredients.
- April 6th – Easter Kids in the Kitchen starts with 36 families and 10 days of delivered ingredients, recipes and videos
- June 2020 – Big Lunch Virtual – 64 bags of ingredients delivered to Community Gateways tenants. Each bag containing ingredients to cook and create delicious homemade pizzas for all the family, complete with recipe cards and our online video.
- June 3rd – the Larder launched Aviva Community Fund and raised £1542 to fund our Kids in the Kitchen Holiday Hunger Programme for summer.
- 18th July – Summer Kids in the Kitchen starts with 20 families each week for 6 weeks (120 families in total) with delivered ingredients kits, recipes and videos.
- August 2020 – three volunteers from the Larder (Leah, Jacqui and Rachel) sign up to the Food Foundation Veg Advocates programme
- October 2020 – The Larder website and blog site merged to produce a new website to better meet the needs of the Larder
- 10th October 2020 – Kay, the Larders founder and director, is awarded an MBE for services to Food Nutrition and the community in Lancashire in The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.
- October 2020 – Big Bake Off – 50 local families received a cake baking kit, recipe and online tutorial on how to bake a perfect cake
- Thursday 12th November – Working alongside The Roddick Foundation the Larder planned and delivered the Lancashire Hotpot Community Cook-Along – 250 households and more than 1000 people took part in Preston’s biggest community cook-along.
- October/ November 2020 – initial planning for a food hub. Setting up using the Open Food Network platform
- October/ November 2020 – initial planning and work for the Larders Food Academy courses to be moved to be delivered online
- December 2020 – selling Christmas Hampers through our new Shopify store to raise money to fund our work in the community including Kids in the Kitchen and Cooking For Our Community – we reached our target to sell 100 Christmas Hampers which both supported our local producers AND local families through our community work.
- December 21st 2020 – Christmas Kids in the Kitchen starts. This time we have 76 local families signed up and due to the amazing response for sign ups, we improved the program by giving all participants vouchers to redeem free of charge from our friends around Preston.
..And so to summarise this year –