In the Eat More Kale kitchen over the past month we’ve been adapting to lockdown and the reality of social distancing in our everyday lives. With the cafes we usually supply to closed for the foreseeable future, we’ve had to find new ways to not only generate income, but also to use our available resources and facilities to help our community during these strange times. So, with the launch of our weekly meal deliveries we’ve been able to supply meals to people in and around the local area, which has not only kept us way busier than we could ever have thought, but has also brought us - and hopefully our customers - joy during the uncertainty of the current climate.
Considering the locality and the availability of produce has been key for us, and we’ve often had to construct our menus around the only ingredients available to us that week, a lesson we’ve welcomed and hope to continue heeding in our kitchens in times to come. Additionally, we’ve had to rethink packaging and delivery, not only because of social distancing, but also because of the new style of food we are providing; meals for one, two, and four meant all new packaging and transport arrangements, including the use of recycled cardboard boxes from our wholesale weekly deliveries.
We’ve been really grateful for the extra work, and as a small family-run business we’ve appreciated the distraction from the confinements of lockdown and the anxiety it brings. Cooking has never stopped being a wholly positive thing in the lives of my family and I, even more so now, and especially given the lovely feedback we’ve received from our customers.
During this lockdown of course all of my staff are staying home, so I’ve enlisted the help of my two daughters, the youngest who is in GCSE year, and the oldest who has just finished university. This is a rather ambivalent time for both of them and they are both somewhat in limbo; unable to pursue goals they’ve been working towards for the past few years. So, I hope that working in the Eat More Kale kitchen, providing meals to people who really enjoy what they’re cooking, will bring them a sense of temporary purpose, and is a welcome distraction from some of the freedoms they have lost.
Home-cooking is so often the remedy to many of life’s problems, and so to be able to not only use cooking as an outlet for anxiety, but also to try and help ease the anxiety of others through delicious bundles of plant-based food, provides us with a much-needed purpose throughout the uneasiness of these times.
As I’m sure you’ve read and heard continuously from other optimists across the internet, I really do hope that we can not only make the best of these months of lockdown, but also to truly use it as a period of reflection; as a way to reconnect with the fundamental truths of life, and to reprioritise our lives and livelihoods to be more centred around our families, our neighbours, our communities, and at the centre of it all, ourselves.