Big Lunch, Great Idea!

Hi Folks and Merry Christmas, Hanukah and whatever else good is going on. In the spirit of reaching out, creating community and, of course, eating, here’s a great idea I just heard about: The Big Lunch. Check it out:

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

This year it happened on Sunday 5th June when the best part of two million people took part. Next year it falls on the same weekend as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 3rd June 2012. A record number of people are expected to take part. Make sure you’re one of them!

A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.

How I love this idea! So simple and so fun. Let’s get The Big Lunch started everywhere! I’ll remind you again as summer comes around. In the meantime, bask in the joy of the season upon us, and look forward to more connecting in the year to come. — L.


13 Responses to Big Lunch, Great Idea!

  1. Wendy Wuornos Walker December 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    A similar program is already in existence in the USA. It’s called National Night Out and encourages neighborhood picnics/potlucks. In our town, the police will come to your picnic and meet the residents, and a fire truck will come and let the kids climb in and check it out. Our neighborhood has been doing this for several years, and I believe the program has been around for 10+ years, but it used to be under a different name. You can check out all the particulars here:

  2. Kameko December 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    My neighborhood does National Night Out as well. We cook out hot dogs and burgers and share all our desserts. Someone always brings a bouncy house and a trash bag full of inflatable balls that usually never make it through the night. My cousin always begs his parents to be allowed to spend the night during this because it’s so much fun, and he’s sixteen!

  3. Melanie December 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    We have a neighborhood BBQ. As soon as daylight savings starts everyone knows that every Friday night there will be a BBQ in the park for the next few months. There may be 10 people there or 50. Kids run around together and adults play with them or sit on rugs and talk. Sometimes they bring musical instruments. It spreads via word of mouth. It’s easy, informal, no one has to organize it, and it really does bring the community together.

  4. hineata December 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Sounds like great fun! It’s already summer here, and we are basking/baking in the sun, camping etc. Had Xmas dinner in a park and got sunburnt. Will have to get the neighbours together for one of these.

    Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

  5. Rachel Banzhaf December 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    My neighborhood does this every Independence Day weekend. A huge potluck dinner held on a closed-off section of the street and live music for dancing afterwards. It used to be squaredancing, which was great for getting everyone (kids, adults, old folks) going but about ten years ago they switched to more standard dance music (salsa and the like) which isn’t as much fun.

  6. Uly December 26, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Rachel, who’s “they”? Isn’t it your neighborhood too? If you prefer square dancing, why not bring it up with whoever chooses the music?

  7. Heather G December 27, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    Our neighborhood does a big picnic each year. The sheriff’s deputies that service our neighborhood come out to socialize with everyone. (Will see if we can get the fire department this year, that sounds great!) We grill, rent bounce houses and giant slip and slides for the kids and kids at heart and just hang together. We also do community Easter Egg hunts where everyone hides eggs in their yards and lets the kids go hunting. During the holidays we have a decorating contest and I’ve been working on starting a community cocoa stroll on the night of the judging. Although we have these formalized things our neighborhood is great about meeting each other through our kids, dogs and of course trick or treating. Any excuse to be neighborly works around here.

  8. Dolly December 27, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Been wanting to do a block party in our subdivision for awhile. I don’t want to plan it 100% by myself though so have not done it. I hate that the 4 houses on our little street are kinda set off from the subdivision so they often don’t include us in things. They had a community yard sale and said nothing to it about us even though we count as part of the actual subdivision.

  9. Mel December 27, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    We are blessed to live in a neighborhood that eats together quite frequently. On any given night, we throw potlucks together, do smores in the backyard, grill burgers, or order pizza. Most things aren’t planned, but we do a few “big” planned events as well. We have a dads vs. kids neighborhood wiffle ball game and cookout, and we do a low-country boil.
    The kids in our neighborhood run the street, and everyone keeps an eye on them. We also have a few retired couples that live around us, and they love keeping their fridges stocked with popsicles for the kids. They even get out and throw football, etc. with them.

  10. bmj2k December 27, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    My particular street is a main road and we can’t close it for a block party but the streets around us all have them in the summer and they are nothing but fun. It definitly works to bring people together. Last year we had a fire in my building- small, no one was hurt, no damage- but everyone was together in the street in front of the building. People who have very different schedules and never see each other mingled and since it wasn’t much of a fire, there was a lot of socializing and now I now the people in my building on a much friendlier basis. Of course I am in no way saying that anyone needs to have a fire in their building, I’m just saying that a little friendly socializing goes a long way.

  11. Jynet December 27, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Our city funds community parties. They’ll even pay for burgers and hotdogs :) They will block streets off and everything.

    The only drawback is that the police insist on fear mongering on the amount of crime in the neighborhood. They print out a full page list of crimes to be handed to the residents at the party – always a full page, because they include as many years as is necessary to fill the page! And if three teen are charged with spray painting the side of the school then that is counted as three crimes. Sigh.

  12. Havva December 28, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    I have been wanting to do a big pot luck neighborhood party in the spring. Just on my short street, 4 families added a new baby (3 in one month). I have met all the other moms and babies, but not all of the moms have met each other. It would be great to get the dad’s together too, and find out who else in our Elementary school’s zone had a baby this year.

  13. Krystal Cummings December 28, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    Hi, this isn’t about potlucks, but wasn’t sure how to tell you about this lovely NFL letter, so it’s going in the comments. Sorry! I thought this was very much in the spirit of ‘free range’ response to paper airplane paranoia that occurred almost 40 years ago.

    Hope you enjoy it!