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Our founder Anna and her friend June

Some words from Anna about how she became friends with June.

I’ve always valued community. My grandma used to say: “you know Anna, it’s not where you live, but those that are around you that are important”. She was so right; physical connection is what makes us human and gives meaning and value to our lives. Yet, despite these pearls of wisdom fed to me from a young age, some years ago, I found myself living in Whitstable on a conveyor belt of kids…work…sleep… (mainly no sleep) repeat.  I was consumed by the busyness of my life and unaware of my wider community – until I met June – a remarkable local lady in her 80’s. 

June lived alone in the centre of Whitstable, and despite the hubbub of the town, she often felt lonely amongst the masses. The relationship that we developed was mutual, benefiting both June, who felt disconnected in the town she had always known, and myself – dealing with the stresses of juggling a young family, and my identity as a mother. Despite the 53 years between us, we formed a strong connection; a friendship that helped me through those challenging years when my children were young. Meeting June, her friendship, stories, and honesty, made me see the value of connecting with someone that wasn’t on that same conveyor belt, someone who had been there, done that and got the t-shirt. So, in 2019, fuelled by my experience, I embarked on the mission to set-up Food Friends.

My friendship with June continues to grow, and ten years down the line she still provides me with much-needed support and guidance, ensuring that I don’t accidentally step back on that conveyor belt of kids…work…sleep…repeat.  Above is a snap of us at Christmas this year having a laugh over some Christmas pud and a failed game of pick-up sticks – here’s to many more years of friendship June!

Anna Mantell

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