In this big old city, squashed like a sardine on the commuter journey, it can sometime feel like random acts of kindness are a million miles away. For many, the capital can be an isolating place and positive interactions with strangers can sometimes feel few and far between.
It’s for this reason that we were so happy when we heard about Le Pain Quotidien’s Pay It Forward Day, asking Londoners to pass on a little bit of joy (in the form of coffee or a baking class) to random strangers. You can imagine we were even happier when we were invited to benefit from Pay It Forward Day, with £5 from every baking class sold going to support our work.
We have 10 projects across London: from Islington in the north to Hackney in the east, Peckham in the south to Marylebone in the west and we see on a daily basis how important it is to sit down and eat a meal with others. For many of our guests, coming to a FoodCycle meal is the one chance they have each week to actually share a meal and a conversation with others.
We know how much of an impact a shared meal can have: 82% of our guests say they feel more a part of the community after coming to a FoodCycle meal. Food is always the way in: it’s the best way to start a conversation and to make a new friend.
One of the things we love about Le Pain Quotidien (aside from choosing us to be their lucky charity partner!) is that they make a big emphasis on communal eating around their big tables. You might be sitting alone, but around a big table it’s pretty easy to strike up a conversation with a total stranger and in this fast-paced world moments like that can be pretty special.
Le Pain Quotidien’s café in St Pancras will soon be supporting FoodCycle LSE by donating surplus bread. The project in LSE supports guests who are living with HIV and you can find out more LSE here.
Find out more about FoodCycle’s work
Volunteer at a FoodCycle project in London
Find your local project