Gary Pargeter, manager of Lunch Positive, has been named a Brighton & Hove Food Partnership Food Hero.
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership Food Hero awards celebrate the amazing people in the city who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve our food system and support others to access healthy, sustainable food.
Gary was nominated for the award for his work with Lunch Positive, which every Friday offers a healthy and enjoyable meal in a safe and supportive space for all people in the city living with and affected by HIV.
He set up the project 10 years ago with a group of friends and it now reaches out to everyone with HIV, making a special effort to include those with complex needs, including mental health issues, other health issues if their HIV is not easily managed, drug or alcohol issues, or those who are simply lonely or isolated.
Emily O’Brien, Policy and Partnership Manager at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, said: “Research shows that shared meals play a hugely important role in addressing food poverty, as well as reducing social isolation. Lunch Positive perfectly embodies that vision. He is an amazing Food Hero.”
Gary Pargeter said: “We are the only open gathering of the HIV community on a regular basis. For some of our clients, coming to us once a week is the only regular access they have to a cooked meal. And for some people it is their only social contact, especially if they have low mood or depression.
“I love the job. I feel very privileged being named a Food Hero. When you love something you do, when someone recognises it, it’s a shock – as you love what you do anyway. It’s the ‘healthy icing on the cake’!”
Gary won a meal out for two, kindly donated by zero waste pioneers Silo.
Lunch Positive: www.lunchpositive.org
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership: www.bhfood.org.uk