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How to Serve Soul Food

Food is a vital part of our everyday lives. No matter who you are or where you’re from, we all need nourishing food to live. The simple act of sharing a meal connects us to our families, friends and communities. Not knowing where your next meal may come from can be a frightening and isolating experience.

In the UK, 17% of adults are concerned about running out of food. And yet, UK food services, retailers and households waste a total of £17bn worth of food a year.

Last week, Zinc Communicate volunteered with Chef Massimo Bottura’s Food for Soul – a global charity tackling the alarming paradox of food waste and food poverty. Founded in 2016, Food for Soul builds community kitchens around the world in collaboration with designers, artists and food suppliers.

We spent a day serving food in London’s Refettorio Felix – where vulnerable people are served a hearty and delicious 3 course meal made with ingredients that would otherwise go to waste. We worked hard at delivering a quality (and quick!) service to our hungry guests – balancing bowls of pea soup and pork and chorizo stew, and finishing off with the long awaited dessert highlight – a banana and date crumble with ginger custard.

We served over 50 guests with our fellow volunteers, taking occasional breaks to chat to guests about their favourite chefs (from restaurants like Café Murano and Heston London) who had come to feed them.

We do not often think about how a meal can be transformational and even empowering – but our experience showed us that giving people the chance to dine with dignity really does feed the soul.