Isn’t food a wonderful thing! What would life be like if we had been made without a need for eating; if the design of the human body had been such that we didn’t need food, and our nutrition was just a tablet each day! So many of our social activities throughout the year involve a strong focus on food - Christmas, New Year, Easter, summer holidays.
Until TV tray meals became commonplace, across the ages, human life revolved around mealtimes and for most families, mealtimes were the time and place for relaxing, recharging their batteries, chatting and talking about their day.
I wonder how many shopping hours were spent in supermarket queues during the last month of 2008 while families stocked up on the special foody extras that have become part of our Christmas and New Year celebrations? Part of the Christmas celebrations involve Christmas Dinner when the whole family gathers around the table to enjoy a special meal together.
The value of food in building relationships has been valued across the ages. Dinner parties are the perfect opportunity to draw friends closer, to get to know work colleagues and just relax together around a table of food. Barbeques and beach parties bring friends closer in friendship and fun. Birthday celebrations usually involve food. Courting couples often get to know each other over candlelit dinners!
When our children were younger and had friends round for tea, one of their favourite activities was making DIY pizzas together with toasted pitta breads, tomato, cheese and other pre-cooked toppings. They all made their own pizza and had great fun together doing it. Their friends loved to come to tea!
The Connect team, which goes out on the streets of Poynton to engage with the young people of Poynton, find that through occasionally providing food, their bond with the young people has become stronger.
BBQs have become popular with the youngsters and so now and again the team will lay on an open air BBQ and just relax with the youngsters chatting and building relationship. The photograph shows them enjoying a recent BBQ together. In fact the food element has become so enjoyable that at the time of writing this, the young people are planning to “do Christmas dinner” together. They are issuing tickets, planning to dress up to the nines and will cook themselves a Christmas meal which they will then share together at the Hockley Centre!
Like people the world over, young people ‘Connect’ over food!