Nutrition for Body & Soul

Since receiving our grant of £15,000 in 2019 which was spent in the 2019-2020 financial year.  The Food Chain have provided personalised nutrition support services for 416 people living with HIV who were struggling to access the food they need to get well, stay well and better manage their HIV.  Our services also benefitted 221 dependents including 113 children under the age of 16, in households across London.  

    At the start of the Covid19 crisis we identified the needs of our service users and began our emergency response service on 13 March as soon as it became evident that we serve a vulnerable group of people who are not able to leave home to do the shopping. Our adapted service is 

    • Continued dietary advice provided over the phone from our qualified dietitians to understand people’s situations and understand their dietary requirements.
      • Emergency grocery deliveries to people’s homes to ensure people have access to the right food based on their physical and cultural needs.
      •Providing additional household essentials such as toothpaste, soap and other basic essentials 
      • one-to-one social support through weekly telephone calls for those with no social network and experiencing poor mental health and isolation. 

    In the early part of the Covid19 crisis we saw a four-fold increase in referrals to our essential groceries service, the impact of which will continue to be felt in the next financial year.  

    Of the people who received our tailored nutrition services in this year,  

    72% were living well below the poverty line with an income of less than £100 per week. 
    74% had no income 
    53% were men living alone – one third aged over 50. 
    47% of households with children (80) were single parent households, these are primarily women with Black African or Caribbean ethnicity. 
    40% endured both financial hardship and critical health 
    37% had a late HIV diagnosis (CD4<350) 
    30% did not have an undetectable viral load, which makes them susceptible to other infections.

    Our Covid response in 2020

    In the 2020 calendar year we provided support for 585 people plus their 383 dependents including 285 children aged under 16.

    We organised a total of 2957 food deliveries, equivalent to 101,850 meals.


    This compares with 934 deliveries/29,454 meal equivalents in 2019, clearly indicating the huge impact of the Covid19 crisis on our service users.

     52% female

    47% male

    0.4% transgender

    0.6% preferred not to say

     Black 53%

    • African 39%
    • Black Brisih 6%
    • Black Caribbean 8%

    White 33%

    • White British 19%
    • White European 8%
    • White other 6%

     Asian 2.5%

    Other 11.5%

     We supported 62 people from Lambeth and Wandswortth, plus their 27 dependents.

     Premises and future plans

    We were expecting to move premises into a new kitchen and dining space in the King’s Cross area in April 2020 but this was deferred due to the Covid19 crisis. We now expect to make the move in April 2021.

    As Covid19 restrictions reduce we expect to make progress with all aspects of being in a new premises that we can also develop as a Community Café when the time is right. We aim to

    • Sustain all our services at the necessary level for the duration of the Covid19 crisis
    • Continue to make our nutrition education services available online as well as in person
    • Develop new social support services arising from the needs identified during the Covid19 crisis in 2020
    • Deliver our Eating Together and Eating Positively services in person when this is possible again
    • Host a Sunday FoodCycle meal, as we did at Acorn House
    • Run fundraising events
    • Develop income-generating activities linked to the community café and catering opportunities in the local are

     Thank you for your support of The Food Chain