Friends of Di’s Kitchen
1619. Jan Kellond
Jan Kellond, from Wolverhampton, runs ‘Friends of Di’s Kitchen’, working with a team of 30 dedicated volunteers to deliver food parcels and prepared meals to vulnerable people in her community in response to the pandemic.
Jan and her team previously used to provide food every week to approximately 60 local residents in need, but since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, have seen a huge surge in support for the initiative and increase in demand. They have now prepared and delivered more than 13,000 meals, supporting around 400 individuals a day. Jan and volunteers have also delivered over 2,000 emergency food parcels, provided additional items of food to families during school holidays and created a phone line to enable people to quickly receive further support where needed.
In a personal letter to Jan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Thank you for all you have done to feed your community during the last year. I was inspired to hear about how you set up ‘Friends of Di’s Kitchen’ in memory of your late friend, Dianne, as a way to continue her work of feeding those in need.
“With over 12,000 meals cooked and 2,000 food parcels delivered, you have led an extraordinary local effort.”
“Thank you so very much for this prestigious award. I am delighted to accept it on behalf of all the volunteers who support me – without them I would not be able to do this work. The primary purpose of ‘Friends of Di’s Kitchen’ is to give a nutritious three course meal every Thursday to whoever needs one. When we started this venture a year ago our aim was to feed up to 60 people each week in a hired hall in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton. ‘Friends of Di’s Kitchen’ set out to follow the philosophy of a lovely lady Dianne Henry, who first started a Food Kitchen attached to a church in 2012, but sadly passed away in 2018. Di’s philosophy had always been that whoever would like a meal would be given one, no proof of need was necessary. Those of us who had volunteered with Di wanted to carry on the work in her memory and decided to become a non-profit-making charitable organisation.
“Once again, on behalf of myself and all the volunteers and friends of ‘Friends of Di’s Kitchen’, I thank you Prime Minister for this award.”