On 1st April 2020, we at EJ Catering joined forces with local South Wales restaurants to “Feed the Heath”. 680 meals a week, a 7,000 mile cycling challenge and 9 weeks later it’s been a whirlwind and an honour to have been involved.
On Mondays we cooked. On Tuesdays we boxed and labelled and on a Wednesday morning our food was collected and delivered to the Heath hospital to feed the incredible staff and sometimes the patients. Our quick, dedicated and efficient team included myself Emma Jenkins, Pablo (my head chef / a friend), Sarah (Owner of Nordic catering company), my friend Bleddyn Edwards (MD of Cheeky Monkey Creative) and another friend Martin Driscle (Owner and director of Cardiff Cruises). A team of heads and directors who certainly lived up to their titles in the kitchen! I am forever thankful to them.
As the weeks went on and we continued to cook for #FeedTheHeath, we started receiving thank you letter directly from the Doctors and Nurses who had been recipients of our food. This of course made us all feel incredibly proud, but more so it was incredibly emotional to be reading about the power of healthy, nutritious and vibrant food during this pandemic, and how it made our hospital heroes’ jobs just that little bit easier. Reading messages and letters of thanks gave us that extra fire to push on, cook more and raise more money.
As a member of Cardiff Triathlon, when it was suggested to do a 12 hour sponsored bike ride to raise money for project Feed the Heath, I was more than happy to ride! Riding 125 kilometres on my watt bike in the garden was completely exhausting but so worth it. It never left my mind during the ride just how exhausted our frontline NHS staff and key workers were feeling during this pandemic and unprecedented times. Emotionally and physically. Cardiff Triathlon club collectively rode to Alaska and raised a total of £3,000.
As the days and weeks of the pandemic went on, team EJ and co. become even more efficient and determined, so we were delighted to be able to take on additional cooking and provide food for some incredible care home staff. We felt that these unnoticed and forgotten silent heroes who were working for minimum wage, with COVID19 patients, and with very little PPE, needed looking after too.
“A huge Thank you to Feed the Heath, EJ catering and Laura Davies for suppling our hard working staff at Bellavista Cardiff with these delicious meals! Your Kindness has made a huge difference and the food tastes absolutely amazing! Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts 🌈”
We’d like to say a big shout out to our fellow #FeedTheHeath participants also, including,
Cinnamon tree, James Sommerin, Waterloo Tea Rooms, Waterloo Foundations, Penylan Pantry, Milkwood, Juboraj, Scene Cuisine, and I even got my friend Spiro involved! And not to forget the brilliant delivery drivers who have picked up and delivered the food we’ve cooked to the frontline. We’ve made some wonderful friends along the way, and during a time when our country was asked to stay separated, it’s in many ways brought so many of us together. It certainly has for the South Wales catering industry anyhow. We can’t wait to meet everyone in person in the future when it’s safe to do so!
As I’m sure it’s been for everyone during these past couple of months, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. There’s been stress, highs, lows, heart break, worry, gratitude, devastation and it’s been eye opening. It made many of us stop and think hard about life. It’s made us re-assess things even, and as we have heard from many, food has become a prominent comforter and something to look forward to as a ‘pick-me-up’. The moral of this story is that when in trouble, delicious, hearty & healthy food (helps to) get your through! Keep cooking everyone, and we look forward to being the ones to cook for you all again soon when a more familiar service resumes again at EJ! Watch this space!
WORDS FROM FEED THE HEATH FUNDRAISER PAGE:
Although we are far from being out of the woods with respect to the pandemic, the project is drawing to a close. Its been a great to have been part of a huge community effort showing solidarity with local hospital staff during the dark days of uncertainty over the last two months.
With over 40,000 meals and 12,000 desserts already delivered, this will rise close to 55,000 and 15,000 by next Friday.”
Over £71,000 has been raised to date, to help fun this incredible project that we will never ever forget❤ What an honour it’s been to be part of such an effort🌈