GIFT’s extraordinary Giving Kitchen, where volunteers cook and deliver hundreds of
fresh, nutritious meals for those in need, has inspired the launch of a new, muchlauded community kitchen in Hertfordshire.
Since the launch of GIFT’s Giving Kitchen in 2021, it has been regularly visited by Risk
Reports’ Health, Safety and Fire Risk Assessor Maria Azcona. Having been kindly
supported by her local community 20 years ago, she knew that one day she wanted to
give back by opening a local food hub. Having observed GIFT’s work, and witnessed the
joy that volunteers felt from being givers, she decided that the time was right to launch
a similar community initiative.
Just as GIFT seeks to inspire and enable the community to come together to support
those in need, The Chapel Community Kitchen runs from a newly renovated hall where
local residents of all ages can come together to cook and eat together.
Maria Azcona, Founder of the initiative and Trustee of the Wheathampstead
Community Hub, says: ‘If it weren’t for The Giving Kitchen, I do not think I would have
had the courage to go ahead with the Chapel Community Kitchen. Seeing the Giving
Kitchen was the push that made me see my idea wasn’t so crazy after all.’
Roxanne Stross, who runs GIFT’s Giving Kitchen, says: ‘I’m so proud that GIFT has
inspired a similar initiative. Our volunteers continue to make such a difference,
making and distributing 300 delicious meals each week, and they always comment
on just how incredible it feels to give your time and energy to help others and to truly
make a difference. Congratulations to the Chapel Community Kitchen!’
In addition to inspiring this initiative, GIFT has been thrilled to launch a new
partnership with The Michael Levine Lone Soldier Centre in Israel, which will provide
Shabbat meals to lone soldiers.
GIFT hopes that its successful model of volunteering and community support will
continue to inspire and provide a best practice model for other groups around the UK
and further afield.