'Lunch Box 5,000' community meal is recipe for success for Bamidele
Bamidele Akomolafe launched the first 'Lunch Box 5,000' meal at the Storehouse Church this month - and couldn't be more delighted with the response.
Forty people - including helpers from the church's Restore Wellness, Social Prescribing and Rough Sleeping Teams - sat down to a three-course meal created from produce from the Food Bank.
The first menu included parsnip soup, pasta with mushrooms and courgette and chicken on the side, followed by coconut cake with custard.
IT professional Bamnidele said when she first discussed the idea with the teams at the Storehouse she had no idea how successful the event would be.
"The feedback was wonderful," she said. "The guests even signed a 'thank you' card for me and gave me a round of applause at the end.
"The helpers also said they enjoyed it.
"It's always been a dream of mine to do this. I'm an IT professional but I also work at Syne Hills Care Home because one day I will be old and like to think, if I need it, I will be cared for.
"However, cooking has always been a passion of mine and I am so happy I've been given this opportunity."
Bamidele said Lunch Box 5,000 was not just a free meal for those in need.
"I wanted it to be an experience, so guests leave feeling good and enjoy the companionship.
"We even had silver service so they felt special.
"October was the fist event and I couldn't believe how well it went. We are all really looking forward to the next one."
Lunch Box 5,000 takes place on the first Monday of the month. Bamidele says she hopes they will get donations of meat for the next meal on November 1.
"Our menu for the first one was quite vegetarian because we had a lot of courgettes and mushrooms but we bought a chicken because some of the guests wanted meat.
"We are hoping for the next one there are some kind butchers who will donate some meat."
If you can help Bamidele, call her on 07927001686. Anyone interested in attended the meals should contact the teams at the Storehouse on North Parade.