Brite Boxes, an initiative run by local charity Voices of Hope, sees nutritious ingredients and an easy-to-follow recipe delivered weekly to almost 500 low-income families across Richmond and Kingston, as well as Elmbridge and Southwark boroughs. Over 16,000 boxes have been delivered in the last year alone.
Sarah Clay, founder and CEO of Voices of Hope explains: “The pandemic brought to the forefront the need for us to help those who were isolated, vulnerable and at risk of food insecurity. Through partnership with Kingston Council and other local charities, we mobilised to provide over 30,000 ‘meals on wheels’ delivered to people’s homes all around Kingston.
“From our continued conversations with Kingston Stronger Together Hub, we identified the need to further support families struggling with the compounding impact of food insecurity. From this, the idea of BRITE Box was born; helping tackle food insecurity for local children, but it’s much more than that! BRITE Box is a fun, family activity and helps children develop a healthy relationship with food. It provides the whole family with key cooking skills, fantastic budget-friendly recipes, and the self-confidence to use them.”
Sanja Djeric-Kane, CEO Kingston Voluntary Action, added: “This is such a good example of how small charities can make a key difference to their local communities. This fantastic initiative has seen over sixteen thousand boxes assembled and delivered which equates to 2,600 volunteer hours. Initiatives like this just couldn’t work without those willing to invest their time.”
BRITE Box is a fun, family activity and helps children develop a healthy relationship with food. It provides the whole family with key cooking skills, fantastic budget-friendly recipes, and the self-confidence to use them.”Sarah Clay, founder and CEO of Voices of Hope
Local families who have received yearly Brite Box subscriptions were recently asked to fill out a questionnaire around their experience and 93.6% of those asked agreed or strongly agreed that overall, the experience has been positive and over 95% of families said they would use the recipes again. One family member who receives a regular Brite Box said: ‘I’m thankful that we can experience Brite Box. I think this should be a must in every family as it really helps to have and learn variety of recipes from different countries, not more left over shopping and the most important I have happy children with proper meals on the table’
The health benefits of the project have been further recognised by Kingston Council. Iona Lidington, Director of Public Health at Kingston Council said: “To ensure that this fantastic initiative can continue, we are delighted to be able to help fund this project further with three of our four neighbourhood committees confirming they will be providing the project with funding. This forms just part of the work the council is doing to protect services and support vulnerable residents during the national financial crisis.”