Five years ago, Hannah Style, RD, became concerned about the rising malnutrition in North London and founded FEAST With Us, a registered charity to provide vulnerable individuals with access to food. She wanted to create a supportive space where those also suffering from food poverty could get a hearty meal while also learning how to cook with others.
She also wanted to provide a platform for vulnerable adults to engage regularly with nutrition, aiming to ameliorate the negative health consequences of food insecurity in the short term, and food illiteracy in the long term. FEAST With Us provides a safe, social space where vulnerable adults can cook and eat together, a unique opportunity for marginalised individuals to benefit from the dignity of food choice, the opportunity to learn cooking skills and nutrition theory and develop confidence in the kitchen.
How did you feel when you found out you were awarded Charity Food Campaigner of the Year?
Honoured and humbled, it is a privilege to be acknowledged by a pioneering and prestigious body that has paved the way for nutritional guidelines for various vulnerable groups. Eager to enhance our partnership and build guidelines for homeless people together, it would be great to learn from CWT about how to establish nutritional guidelines safely and robustly for this population group. I would like to learn how to inform policy-makers effectively.
What is your advice to other Charity Food Campaigners?
Collaboration is key! Learning from each other and sharing best practices and learning with each other is the best way forward. Fill in for each other and don’t compete; collaborate.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role as a Charity Food Campaigner?
What have you gained from the award Charity Food Campaigner of the Year?
The network of similar initiatives in the field – would be great to be routinely connected, form a food poverty alliance, and work alongside each other to share best-practice and updates. Would be good for CWT to build the network and lead with nutrition guidelines that can be disseminated across diverse regions and settings. Nutrition focus is key, so many charities don’t have this focus, and it would be great to imprint the nutrition stamp and embed it for all stakeholders.
What are the benefits of being recognised by CWT as an inspirational Charity Food Campaigner of the Year?
The recognition amongst interested initiatives and morale boost for the workforce and volunteers are enormously helpful to us. Being part of the network and welcomed into a community with whom we share values.
How did you celebrate when you found out you won Charity Food Campaigner of the Year?
I congratulated the team for their efforts and suggested that when lockdown lifts, we can all celebrate in person!
What has been your biggest challenge, and how have you overcome it?
Limiting the number of volunteers in the kitchen and pausing community dining have both been logistical challenges to delivering optimal services. The team have handled this challenge with grace, calm and pragmatism. We are looking forward to reopening our services to allow for community dining.
You can find more information about Hannah’s award-winning work on her Charity Campaigner of the Year Page.
Interview by Michelle Slater
CWT Annual Awards Committee Member
© 2021 The Caroline Walker Trust