The Playground Theatre Café provides Food Relief

Food relief for vulnerable Kensington and Chelsea residents

The Playground Theatre Café is providing food relief for vulnerable  Kensington and Chelsea residents in response to Covid-19. The campaign was set up by Rima Sams, the theatre cafe manager; and her son Mars.

As soon as the theatre closed its doors on 16 March, to comply with Social Gathering restrictions; Rima started talking with local charities. She registered with The Felix Project who provide about 70% of fresh ingredients, at no cost. She also talked to the Kensington & Chelsea Mutual Aid Group. The Playground Theatre Café Covid-19 Food Relief campaign was born.

Nutritious Meals for those that need it most

Rima, Mars and a volunteer prepare nutritious meals in compostable containers that can be heated up on arrival. Volunteers working with the Kensington & Chelsea Mutual Aid Group, and charities collect and deliver the nutritious meals to those that need it most. Typically, ‘those that need it the most’ are elderly, self-isolating, vulnerable people that often live in sheltered accommodation.

It varies but; Rima and her team are preparing up to 500 meals per week from The Playground Theatre Café. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched with a target to raise £10,000 so that the food relief campaign can continue to service local people in need. Everyone involved in preparing and delivering meals is a volunteer.

Here is the link to the GoFundMe page:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-playground-theatre-cafe-covid-19-food-relief

Rima said: “There is shocking food poverty in North Kensington which given the close proximity of extreme wealth in the Royal Borough, is unbelievably sad. A conversation with a local friend regarding food bank needs going through the roof in the first week of lockdown, inspired me to want to help get meals to the elderly and most vulnerable.”

Other Food Relief Projects

Similar projects are springing up local to Rima and The Playground Theatre Café.

An RBKC (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea) Community Centre called Bay20 has been set up to facilitate connecting caterers, kitchens, food suppliers, sheltered housing charities and delivery volunteers so that vulnerable adults can be helped. Here is the link to Bay20:

COVID-19 Hub and support for vulnerable residents | Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Local support and beyond

Rima and her team are so grateful for the support that they have received. They are almost half-way towards their target.  There are lots of lovely comments and messages of support on their GoFundMe page and also on social media.

Our good friends at Portobello Radio covered Rima’s story very early on and gave us a wonderful shout out – Thank you Piers!

The Playground Theatre Facebook page was messaged by someone who was worried about two vulnerable local residents – we referred them to the Kensington & Chelsea Mutual Aid Group Facebook page, where they were able to get help for their 80 year old neighbours.

One lady that enjoyed Chicken Curry, Paneer and Spinach Sabji with Brown Basmati wanted to extend her thanks to everyone involved in The Playground Theatre Café Covid-19 Food Relief campaign.

How you can help

If you would like to find out more about The Playground Theatre Café Covid-19 Food Relief campaign please visit the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-playground-theatre-cafe-covid-19-food-relief.

If you would like to get involved in a similar project and are an RBKC resident, here are the details for local hub Bay20: COVID-19 Hub and support for vulnerable residents | Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.