Changes and Food – 18th May 2020

Since lock down started there have been a huge amount of changes to people’s lives and one of the biggest is with food. Whether that’s because of health, age, financial situations or lack of stock on shelves. At Random café we have seen major changes too. The levels of food we have intercepted has gone up and down like a roller-coaster. Some days we don’t seem to have much fruit and veg, others we are short on cupboard items. If we have no food, this is actually a good thing – the supermarkets aren’t wasting it.

Random Café has had to adapt with the changes too. As many of you are aware we have moved to Leavesden Green Community Hub and it’s there we have a pop up shop and a food box service. Through this shift in services we have forged links with other local organisations. We are also working with Watford Community Housing, W3RT and Watford Borough Council. They are both working non stop to make sure Watford residents are safe and have food. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes on a ‘normal’ day and, since the lock down this has increased extensively.

We are now working closely with our local Lidl store who are collecting produce for our boxes. Thank you to everyone for your kind donations. The amounts we have collected are, unfortunately not keeping up with the volume needed. If you are able to pop an extra couple of tins in your shop, to help us keep this service going, it would be greatly appreciated. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and it is lovely to see so many helping where they can. There is a wish list of items below of the things we have run out of. If you would like to donate these can be dropped of at the Leavesden Green Community Hub, details attached.

A huge thank you to everyone for your continued support, from the Random Café Team.

April Review – 15th May 2020

April was a very busy time for Random Café. We set up a whole new way of working and it went well. We have seen lots of familiar faces at the regular pop up shop and we’ve seen lots of new ones too, we love meeting new people.

Thanks to some generous donations we have been able to help a lot of people receive food during this time of lock down. We have received regular donations from Lidl, Watford. Huge thank you to Michael and his team and customers.

We also received a fabulous donation from The Reform Synagogue Youth. They are a progressive Jewish youth movement who run summer and winter camps (and other events) for children. They are unable to run their events this summer so cleared out their cupboards and brought it along to us.

We have been delivering more food boxes out to Watford residents that are in need of food. The volunteers at our Random Food Hub have been very busy behind the scenes packing the boxes ready for delivery.

Here’s an idea of how many people we have reached in April.

We have saved over 2 & 3/4 Tonnes of food from being thrown away.
We have seen 145 people come to the Hub for food, not just for themselves, for their household and relatives. We have fed 62 people with our food boxes.
In total we have help feed of 271 local Watford residents in April.

Our First Week at The Hub In Pictures – 13th April 2020

We will continue to be at Leavesden Green Community Hub during the emergency period.

If you need food come and visit 10 am till 12 pm or 1 pm till 3 pm

or

email for a food box at randomcafeuk@gmail.com

Weekly Update – 5th April 2020

We have had a busy week at Random HQ and we have had a fantastic offer from Leavesden Green Community Hub. They have, generously offered us the use of the Hub in this emergency period. So we are happy to announce we are able to offer our mini market during the week for those who need it.

The address for the Hub is Leavesden Green Community Hub, Clarke Green, off Clarke Way, Watford WD25 0BW.

We will be open, initially on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 am to 12 pm then 1 pm till 3 pm. Having this hour break will allow our volunteers to replenish the market and a well deserved lunch break.

The times of the market will be dependent on supply and demand. We have been contacted this week by food outlets with requests for extra collections. We are now able to do these extra collections which will give us extra food to distribute to the local community. We will put a selection of what is available that day on social media. All the produce will be split in half between the morning and afternoon sessions. This is to make it fair to all and to try and avoid large groups of people gathering.

If you know anyone who is unable to do food shopping, for any reason, and you are able to come along to pick up a food box, we will also have these available. They will be on an order only basis, as we need time to box each one up. Please email randomcafeuk@gmail.com for more details or to order a box.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

It is very important that you check social media or our website before leaving to join us. We cannot predict the supply or demand of the food we collect, or the amount of volunteers we will have. We are ready to collect food everyday but this doesn’t mean the shops will have food to collect. The times of our market could change making it very important to check before you come.

PLEASE REMEMBER:

We are open as a Mini Market ONLY.
We will NOT be serving lunch or drinks.

Please only come if you need food. 
Please only bring ONE bag with you. 
We are deliberately operating on a skeleton volunteer team

We are taking every precaution to keep ourselves safe.

We need you to do the same:

Please be kind and considerate to each other

Please practice rigorous hand hygiene

Please make sure you stay a safe distance away from each other

If you have any symptoms or feel unwell please stay at home

Please leave your children at home if you can.

If you have ANY doubts please stay at home.

A weekly update – 31st March

This week saw one of our largest collections. Our van was full to the roof with fruit and vegetables. There was over 420 kilograms of food packed in our little van. Huge thank you to Morrisons, Hatch End, Marks and Spencers, Watford and Aldi, Watford for the huge amount of food. Without your help this food would have gone to landfill.

Thank you to our volunteers who came out to help distribute the food and keep everyone safe, with hand gel and a two meter stick for distancing. We take the safety of our volunteers and customers very seriously and everyone who came along listened and kept to the guidelines set by The Government and Us. Thank you everyone who came.

We did have a brief visit from Watford Police asking “what good deed is going on here?”. We explained what we were doing and he said it was a great thing and he could see we were doing a good job keeping to the social distancing guidelines.

We still had a lot of fruit and vegetables left when we packed up so we put a shout on our Whatsapp group for where could really do with the food. Two place came up more than once, New Hope and Mencap. New Hope are stepping up their services in this time of crisis and offering 3 meals a day to the homeless people of Watford. We popped over to New Hope and they were very happy to receive fresh food to cook up for those that needed it. We still had lots left so Nici contacted Mencap who run residential care homes. They said they would love some. A lot charities are struggling to get enough food for those that are dependent on them. It was so great that we could help Mencap as this is a charity close to some of our volunteers hearts. When we went over to their Care Home in Rickmansworth, they were so grateful of the food we gave them. I think they might be having parsnip soup this week.

We will be out again this Saturday at 1 pm. Keep an eye on our social media channels for any updates or changes. All links can be found here https://randomcafewatford.com/social-media/

Thank you again to everyone who supports our little café, if you can think of any organisation who really needs fresh fruit and vegetables please email us at randomcafeuk@gmail.com