Greek-Iranian Jojo Sureh who was once homeless as a child, is helping vulnerable people across south London, by preparing and delivering free home-cooked meals.
In May, Sureh set up catering service ‘Cook to Care’ to provide food for her local neighbourhood, Swlondoner reported.
She works in the charity sector and was on leave from her job when she self-funded the initiative and used her kitchen as a base to prepare meals. To deliver the food across Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth, she either walked or caught a taxi, with some journeys taking up to four hours at a time.
“Before my mum and I became homeless, I had a very privileged upbringing,” she said.
Her Greek and Iranian heritage “inspired her passion for food and she described it as a fundamental value.
‘Cook to Care’ provides enough meals for a working week with food portions made of rice, curry and a salad. The food produce is donated by two food charities and the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nectarios in Wandsworth.
The project now averages more than 1,000 meals a week with assistance from 35 volunteers. Helping such a large community in need, all meals are now made at the Marcus Lipton Youth Centre in Brixton and distributed by organisations such as the Lambeth Mutual Aid Group.
‘Cook to Care’ also collaborated with Humanitarian Landscape Collectives, a group of landscape architects who restore barren spaces in London and use them for food growth. “The idea is to revive as many areas as possible that would otherwise be underutilized,” she said, adding that she believes reviving greenery can help create safe spaces for gang affiliated youths involved with postcode wars.