Connecting communities one shared meal at a time

Casserole poster

A scheme to support people to share food with neighbours in their community who can’t cook for themselves is one of the innovative projects in the New Local Government Network’s “pick of the year” featured in today’s Guardian.

The basic premise of the Casserole Club is that there are a lot of people cooking food and many others who would greatly appreciate a good, home cooked meal. Its goal is to connect the two, using a mix of online platform and offline engagement.

Like a local, community-led takeaway, Casserole members serve up home-cooked food to their neighbours, getting more people eating and cooking fresh meals while strengthening local neighbourhood relationships.

Casserole is a project by FutureGov, a social innovation and technology company that works with local government to develop better services for councils and their communities.

Casserole began in 2011 as a “serendipitous convergence of ideas” between its project lead, Murtz, who had been working on an MSc on community led social care and FutureGov, which was looking for concepts for a new type of Meals on Wheels.

It’s currently being developed with the support of Reigate & Banstead Council and Surrey County Council but is looking for new areas to expand into.

As it says in the Guardian article, it seems like a “beautifully simple and brilliant idea”, although no doubt there are various health and safety issues that need to be considered.

Could we develop a project here in Birmingham to help local communities tackle social isolation through shared food? I’d like to think so.

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