Wondering about becoming an ambassador? Sorella Le Var our Ambassador from London tells us about what it was like to get started
When the call went out for ambassadors to make links with the Food Assembly, I thought, great, I already shop with mine. Here is something I can easily do outside of my family kitchen and Food Revolution Day at work. Up until then I had not been quite sure about how to fulfil my ambassador role throughout the year. I got in touch with Ioana, who runs my local assembly in Bow, East London. We arranged to meet to discuss organising a joint event.
The meeting with Ioana went well. We decided that we would arrange something to highlight Urban Food Fortnight and both went away with actions. It felt great to join up with other local people. Then, through the creation of the London Ambassadors Facebook group, I met Fiona Sing, a new ambassador in my area. The initial idea was that Fiona and I would have a stall at one of Ioana’s food assembly evenings and a date was set. What we would do on that stall though, was completely undecided.
Days passed and I was really struggling with what Fiona and I would offer from a Food Revolution perspective. Then, during a long car journey from London to Yorkshire, I had time to think. It is always best to start with what you know and feel comfortable talking about. I’m a mum and each week I plan meals for my family. I have done for the past 12 years. I decided I would talk about meal planning.
Fiona and I met to create a sample, seasonal weekly meal plan using Jamie Oliver recipes. We also decided we would provide a blank, photocopiable template for people to take away. Our sample plan worked around the idea that each day of the week had a focus (with lots of hashtags for easy Instagramming):
- Sunday was our family roast day
- Monday was #meatfreemonday
- Tuesday could use up Sunday leftovers
- Wednesday featured a midweek pasta bake
- Taco Thursday was added for variety
- Fish Friday is a great British tradition
- Saturday was left free for dinner out or a take-away
We included meal planning tips and a seasonal fruit and vegetable calendar.
The recipes were chosen to feature seasonal ingredients that could be purchased from the Food Assembly, which tied us all together. In our meal plan pack we also added some information on food waste, which was another area I knew lots about. Many years ago I was a founding member of a WI branch and I ran a local food waste course, as part of a WI campaign. Food waste is bad for the planet and bad for your pocket. Meal planning really helps lessen waste.
Ioana arranged for the venue to make a risotto for people to taste and I bought really cute bamboo boats and wooden spoons. I also made FR London aprons using transfer paper that you iron on. We advertised the event on Facebook and on local community email groups. Ioana also did lots of advertising and created a lovely event flyer.
When the day came, Fiona helped Ioana set up whilst I dashed there from work. The risotto tasters looked great and proved really popular. The evening went by in a flash as we talked about meal planning, the lovely sample recipes and food waste. Fiona and I met some great local people and even saw familiar faces that we were able to share our ideas and knowledge with. Our clear enthusiasm for the event and the subject was evident and attracted passers by.
Afterwards we all went for a quick drink to celebrate a successful event. Ioana and the Food Assembly would be very happy to collaborate again in the future. Fiona and I are also now planning another separate event at a school Winter Fair, sharing ideas for fun, healthy snacks for children over the Christmas period.
If you want to sign up to become an ambassador you can do so and join the Food Revolution at www.jamiesfoodrevolution.org. Meaningful change is built from the ground up. We celebrate the joy of food, we educate people and communities and we inspire them to come together as one voice to lobby governments and businesses to make positive, lasting change. Sign up and register your interest here.