The average U.K. family throws out over $1,200 worth of food each year. Living among them are one million malnourished elderly people. One London-based startup is poised to change all that with one simplest ingenious idea.
It’s called the Casserole Club, and its aim is to pair older people (dubbed “Diners”) in need of a hot meal with younger neighbours (a.k.a. “Casserole Cooks”) willing to prepare one for them. It’s a bit like a Meals on Wheels but it’s so much more than that says Murtaza Abidi, the club’s co-founder.
“Meals on Wheels is a really great service, but we’re trying to reintroduce a more community-based model,” he said, speaking to the BBC back in 2012. “It’s really about the social impact of then knowing a neighbour, feeling secure in your area and actually having more to talk about with people.”
You see, aside from being malnourished, half of the U.K.’s elderly population (that’s over five million people!) say the TV is their main company. So, it’s a good thing the Casserole Club is slowly chipping away at that, too. They’ve shared 12,000 meals so far, and according to them, over 80 per cent of their Diners and Cooks hangout for at least 30 minutes during a meal delivery, and 70 per cent now interact outside of a meal share date. How amazing is that?
Since its humble beginnings in 2011, the Casserole Club has now expanded to towns and cities all over the U.K., and has, most recently, popped up in Australia. (Hence the Australian accents in the video above!)
Now, if only we could get a Casserole Club started in Canada… Who’s in?