Abigail Simon’s charitable spirit led her to open her home as a hub for local supermarkets to donate whatever they could no longer sell, and with the help of small teams of volunteers deliver these supplies to local food banks. Abigail has also spent the last few months travelling to Trafalgar Square every Saturday with 500 meals, 200 sandwiches and boxes of fruit and cake snacks, toiletries and clothing for the homeless.
We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Abigail and the army of volunteers who have managed to help countless numbers of people during these trying times. Similar to many other businesses helping through this pandemic, The Yum Yum Food Company relies heavily on the charitable spirit and donations from everyone who can afford to do so.
Click here for Abigail’s homeless charity donations page
The BMA team caught up with Abigail for a short interview
Abigail, tell us about yourself?
I have two boys aged 9 and 11 and a gorgeous dog called Strudel. My company is called The Yum Yum Food Company and I cater for nursery schools. I started this in 2003 and have been operating 51 weeks of the year ever since.
How has your business changed since ?
My business effectively stopped operating since March 20th when schools first closed, by March 23rd I had started using my kitchens to cater for those in need, the first day we made 200 meals and within a few weeks I was making and distributing over 3000 meals a day, to a variety of people, NHS staff, homeless centres and individual vulnerable people and families in need. Through social media platforms, I built up a huge volunteer network for both kitchen support and delivery drivers, the response and generosity of people willing to help was amazing and humbling at the same time. The Felix Project and City Harvest donated most of the food.
In coming out of lockdown, my business won’t restart properly until September so I am looking at other ways to utilise my kitchens.I now offer a local meal delivery service for local residents.
What services are you currently offering local residents?
I am now offering a frozen meal delivery service to local residents, we can offer
meals specially designed for children, and for elderly residents, the entire family can enjoy this service. We have specialised in catering meals since 2003 but previously we have operated business to business, now we have opened up to cater to individuals and families locally. If anyone would like to order please email us at orders@ yumyumfoodcompany.co.uk, thank you.
What has been the most challenging aspect of the lockdown for you personally?
I think most parents can relate to this - juggling homeschooling, childcare and my charity work, whilst making sure my staff are ok too, and hoping that my business will recover.
Has your perception of the community changed since lockdown?
I think the best thing to come out of lockdown has been a sense of community - people have connected in so many ways, harnessing the power of social media to reach those most vulnerable, and also just the sheer joy of connecting with people and belonging to a community spirit with a desire to help those around us with no other motives. I have connected with extended neighbours too.
Tell us one thing no one knows about you.
That I secretly want to escape city life, move out to a home with land and just rescue lots of different animals!
by Andy Vassilev