A day in the life of… CENS’ Kitchen Co-ordinator

Feeding 15 hungry residents every day on a budget is no easy task. Here’s how Emma gets it done!

9.45am I arrive at CENS and read Lamplight (our database we use to share any information between staff members).

10am FareShare‘s weekly delivery arrives. They collect surplus and close-to-date food from supermarkets and food businesses. Then redistribute to various charities who turn it into meals for those in need. Today’s delivery included 5kg sack of potatoes, 15 cheese selection boxes, a crate of vine tomatoes, a crate of courgettes, 40+ Tesco finest sausages, and 30+ M&S sausage rolls. 

10.15am Tesco food shopping delivery arrives. All hands on deck for 15 minutes to get the food deliveries put away in the many fridges and freezers in our food store. I have spent a long time organising them so everything has a place.

10.30am I discuss with Pete what he will be making today. Pete is one of CENS trustees who volunteers twice a week to cook for our residents. I leave him to cook up a storm in our well-equipped kitchen. Chilli con carne served with rice, nacho chips, grated cheese and sour cream is on the menu today.

10.45am I write out the week’s menu on the display board in the kitchen. Each week’s meals are planned out to utilise the great hauls of produce we have from FareShare. We currently have one vegan, one Halal eater, and one vegetarian residents staying with us so all of their dietary requirements are catered for. I spend a lot of time on Google searching recipes to best use the weeks ingredients!

11.10am I start restocking the breakfast area, tea/coffee/snack table with food. We always provide our residents with a filling breakfast to set them up for the day. There is a variety of cereals, porridge, breads, crumpets, jams and spreads on offer. 

11.30am I do some tidying and organising in the store room. 

11.45am I help Pete finish off the cleaning down of the kitchen. His delicious chilli con carne is in the slow cookers keeping warm ready for tonight’s dinner time. And that’s me done for today! 

CENS Essential Shopping List

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Hot chocolate
  • UHT milk
  • Squash
  • Vgetable oil
  • Gravy granules
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • Stock cubes
  • Herbs and spices
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned/packet custard
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned tuna
  • Tinned vegetables & potatoes
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Jam, peanut butter, chocolate spread
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Men & women’s deodorant
  • Men’s razors
  • Shave gel
  • Shower gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Cloths
  • Scourers
  • Washing up liquid
  • Surface cleaners
  • Floor cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Bin bags
  • Food caddy liners
  • Loo roll
  • Washing tablets
  • AA batteries
  • NEW single duvets
  • Pillows/pillowcases
  • Single duvet covers/sheets
  • Clean/good condition towels

Please no soups!
Thank you