Lotti Henley, at first glance is a woman of slight build, and at the age of 91, is well into her ‘golden years’ of life. One would assume a woman of her age and stature had more appetite for slowing the pace of life down, than an energetic resolve to end World hunger, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Lotti, is the heart and soul of Plan Zheroes, a London-based charitable organisation which, through its unique mapping system, links together businesses with excess food, to charities and food banks that need it.
It was Lotti’s incredible story – recounting her own personal experience of extreme hunger as a refugee during WWII – that led to the creation of Plan Zheroes, which inspired School of Wok’s founder Jeremy Pang to help do his bit in supporting their mission to end hunger, by sharing what we have and the simple act of reducing food waste to feed those in need. “I was so moved by Lotti’s story” says Jeremy, “it really brought home how much we have as a Nation, and yet how many people are still in need of a nutritious meal.”
An increasing number of people across the UK are facing issues of food insecurity. Malnutrition and obesity is on the rise as people struggle to afford or have access to healthy, nutritious food. On the other end of the scale, businesses and hundreds of thousands of individuals each day throw away and waste unused and uneaten food.
Jeremy Pang’s School of Wok, an Asian specialist cookery school located in London’s Covent Garden, is helping to raise awareness around these two issues and help support Plan Zheroes and Lotti Henley’s ultimate zero hunger goal, by showing how you can minimise food wastage and create nutritious meals in minutes. “The wok is a perfect tool for cooking larger quantities of food and quickly, it just made sense to incorporate one of our cooking lessons with an opportunity to feed 1000 people” said Jeremy.
Jeremy and his small-but-mighty team will be hosting their second annual large-scale cookery event; Wok for 1000, taking place in London’s much loved and resilient Borough Market on 31st October 2017. During this powerful event participants will learn how to cook three different Asian dishes from scratch, creating over 1000 homemade meals to then be delivered to charities supporting those in need. After having seen the results, as well as the atmosphere generated from the school’s first event in 2016 Lotti, remarked, “It was such a good example of how food can bring the community together. People were sitting together, talking, cooking. That’s the great thing about this project we run with the Market—there’s a real sense of community.”
WHO BENEFITS – ABOUT PLAN ZHEROES
All profits from the event will be donated to charity Plan Zheroes – The Zero Food Waste Heroes. Plan Zheroes runs an innovative online platform where businesses can safely donate their surplus food to local charities, ensuring that no good food goes to waste and that it reaches those who need it.
WHY WOK FOR 1000
Following on from the first Wok for 1000 in 2016, Jeremy Pang and his team of expert chefs from London’s very own School of Wok are hoping to emphasise both the need of corporate social responsibility and the difference one person can make in one event on 31st October. At least 1000 meals will be created, delivered and distributed across the Capital to local charities and community groups and Jeremy will be encouraging those watching over the social media live feed to follow along and cook at home. Those inspired by the event can also donate or volunteer for Plan Zheroes or one of their partner charities, details for which will be posted on the School of Wok facebook page.
The event itself runs from 8:30am- 2pm on 31st October and will include a three-hour hands on Asian cookery class – under the supervision of Jeremy Pang and School of Wok expert chefs – to make 1,000 meals for distribution, which will also be streamed onto Facebook. Over 150 people have already signed up to take part and help prepare meals.
There are also opportunities to join a distribution team and document the food being delivered directly to partner Charity’s and the homeless on the day itself (from 1pm).