The Food Chain exists to ensure that people living with HIV in London can access the nutrition they need to get well, stay well and lead healthy independent lives. They reduce barriers to good nutrition and they address broader issues of poverty, ill-health and social isolation experienced by many people living with HIV.
Many people living with HIV struggle to make ends meet. Poverty, ill-health and isolation can prevent people from accessing the food they need, leading to poor diet and putting their health and the health of their dependants at risk.
‘Eating Together At Weekends’ is a communal lunch service provided by The Food Chain, which aims to alleviate poverty and reduce the isolation experienced by people living with HIV in London, by bringing them together over a hot nutritious meal and some good conversation at weekends. Weekends are a particularly difficult time for people who are socially isolated and living on low incomes as there is less availability of support services than on a week day. The service is also designed to improve participants’ overall health, energy levels and confidence, offering opportunities to meet new people, share experiences and learn more about healthy eating and relevant topics.
As a result of the Eating Together At Weekends project, people living with HIV are expected to benefit in the following ways:
- Improved physical health as a result of increased consumption of nutritious food.
- Reduced financial pressure and improved economic status.
- A greater understanding of dietary requirements and the types of food they need to access.
- Better food preparation skills and recipe knowledge.
- Reduced isolation with increased opportunities for regular social contact and peer support.
- Increased confidence, self-esteem and motivation, leading to improved mental well-being.
- Enhanced ability to live independently in the community as a result of signposting to a range of support and services.