For chronically underserved areas in Wandsworth and Lambeth, the project aims to ease some of the pressure on household budgets at a time when many of the very poorest in society are experiencing additional challenges associated with the pandemic. A regular shopping basket of goods is available at a fraction of its usual cost, and much of the food is sourced responsibly from retailers’ surplus stocks.
JKA’s initial designs for the bus helped to secure grant funding from the Mayor of London, DWS, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Sarah Dent, Wandsworth Council, L&Q, and Mercers’ Charitable Foundation. We worked closely with charities Be Enriched, Feeding Britain, and the Wandsworth Food Partnership and fabricator Building BloQs to convert the vehicle economically but elegantly.
The bus has hot and cold running water, a fully functioning kitchen, food storage and display cabinets, air source heating and cooling, solar powered refrigeration, lighting and 5G internet. The upper deck was converted into a comfortable lounge with tables and seating for residents to access additional support services and training events. The warm and comforting interior is complemented by additional outdoor seating and carefully controlled lighting to welcome people aboard.
The Food Bus is the blueprint for an innovative means of bringing help right to the doorstep of the most vulnerable individuals and families. We hope that the project will transform the experience of accessing support into a social event with positive and convivial overtones.