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There With You: The creative food delivery service that has Homerton Hospital staff queuing for more

PUBLISHED: 17:51 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:30 04 May 2020

A member of staff with his food. Picture: +HOME

A member of staff with his food. Picture: +HOME

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A small group of friends from east London have teamed up with volunteer chefs to bring nutritious meals to staff at Homerton Hospital.

Melanie Manchot and Fiona Banner, designer Nina Tolstrup and chef Sam Clark. Picture: +HOMEMelanie Manchot and Fiona Banner, designer Nina Tolstrup and chef Sam Clark. Picture: +HOME

The +Home project is now delivering 125 hot meals four days a week, having shot past its £10,000 fundraising target within 24 hours.

Artists Melanie Manchot and Fiona Banner, designer Nina Tolstrup and chef Sam Clark were inspired to use their creativity to support the hospital during the Covid-19 crisis.

Clapton restaurant Lucky & Joy and volunteer chefs from Sam’s eateries Moro and Morito soon joined in. Just a week after initial conversations, cooking began.

After five weeks of consistently delicious deliveries, hospital staff are now lining up before the volunteers arrive.

Melanie said: “We have these beautiful little conversations where people come out saying yesterday’s meal was so amazing, I can’t wait to see what it is today.”

+HOME work from scratch to offer vegetarian food and support to frontline staff working physically and emotionally exhausting shifts.

“The chefs really think about how a one-pot-meal can see them through for hours and hours and give them all the nutrients they need,” said Melanie.

One young nurse told +HOME: “You just made the end of my day so much better. I can go home now and sleep, no need to stand in line and go shopping.”

The team run parallel shifts, with Melanie, Sam and co cooking on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Lucky & Joy – a two minute cycle from the hospital – working Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Melanie thinks the project’s success “speaks to the grassroots community spirit all over the country” and that the East End is an “incredibly resourceful set of neighbourhoods”.

Deputy chair of Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Jude Williams said: “On behalf of us all, we are so grateful to the +HOME team for producing gorgeous, freshly made food for our frontline staff.”

+HOME has enough money to keep cooking until July. Surplus funds will go to the Covid Hope for Homerton Hospital fundraiser, which you can donate to at www.gofundme.com/f/covid-hope-for-homerton-hospital


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