Pop-up Food Stalls – North London Parishes Reaching Out


In his Palm Sunday homily, dedicated to the theme of service, the Holy Father said, “may we reach out to those who are suffering and those most in need. May we not be concerned about what we lack, but what good we can do for others”. This sentiment is evident in the response to the current COVID-19 crisis across communities and in the response of parishes in the Diocese of Westminster and beyond. Three parishes in North London have been responding to this call through ‘pop-up food stalls’.


Caritas Westminster has established three pop-up food stalls across North London. These stalls offer free food to anybody in need, or for others to collect. The food stalls are based at Christ the King in Cockfosters, Saint Monica’s in Palmers Green and Saint Francis de Sales in Tottenham. After just two weeks, these free food stalls have fed over 200 families across these areas. Demand for the free food stalls has been substantial and growing, with people coming to the stalls for many different reasons. One person had been supporting a couple in their 90s out of their own pocket, whilst one mother was supporting a family of six by herself. Whilst it is positive that people are able to easily access healthy food through this initiative and others like it, the demand is likely to only show the tip of the iceberg.

The pop-up food stalls have provided an opportunity for parishes to deepen relationships with the wider community and for volunteers to get to know one another better too. One volunteer, Leonardo, said of the project “giving is always a beautiful experience even if it is only our time”.

The food has predominantly been provided by The Felix Project, a charity that rescues food that would otherwise go to waste – think odd shaped apples, rice with the wrong barcode – and distributes it to schools and projects across London. Over the Easter Holiday the Felix Project also delivered to eight Catholic schools across the diocese. On Easter Monday, Morrisons Palmers Green kindly donated 170 Chocolate Easter eggs to the project.

After a month of running, these pop-up food stalls have provided enough food to make over 5,000 meals!

Caritas Westminster is very grateful for the support of the parish priests and volunteers who in “reaching out” have made this initiative possible.

To support projects like these please consider donating to the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal which has been extended to support those affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.



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