The difference this time was that instead of using the soup to feed paying members of the public, we went on trips with the dedicated members of TSHA to distribute it to members of Oxford’s population who are currently living on the streets. The various volunteers from TSHA meet up almost every night of the week so we joined them on Saturday 25th to prepare sandwiches, snacks, and hot drinks to accompany the soup we were handing out.
Our teams followed two routes covering the areas of the High Street, Cornmarket, George Street, and New Inn Hall Street to catch up with the people they give food to every night. It was great to see and be part of the relationships that the TSHA volunteers have formed with the people they work with who are experiencing homelessness, as while food was distributed they caught each other up on what books they were reading, how university was going, theories of evolution, and much more! The soup was much appreciated as something different, especially all the wholesome vegetable chunks in the minestrone – despite a brief friendly debate over whether it should have been blended or not, the ‘keep it chunky’ camp won out!
The members of Project Soup really appreciated this joint project as we were able to gain an insight into the invaluable work TSHA does in bridging the gap between the student and the homeless populations in Oxford. We also learnt how well we can quickly turn a short-notice plan into a successful venture with delicious soups, and feed around 20 – 30 people experiencing homelessness in the process. Hopefully this will set a precedent for more projects in collaboration to come in the future, expanding our love for nourishing and ethical cooking to reach more people, especially those most in need.
Some of us were interested enough to sign up to help TSHA again. If you would like to do the same find more information at http://tshainfooxford.wixsite.com/tsha or find them on Facebook: TSHA