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Meals that Matter

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Every day across the country, FoodCycle volunteers are creating Meals that Matter – now you can help us create even more! 


Click here for your free toolkit!


What is ‘Meals That Matter’?

Meals that Matter is a fun initiative for people who want to support FoodCycle through the power of good food. Think of it like a ‘Come Dine With Me’ for a good cause and use it as an excuse to get your mates together, show off your cooking skills and share your love of food by having a great night in!

The idea is simple: invite your friends, family, colleagues or neighbours round for dinner and cook them up a delicious meal. Tell them about FoodCycle, and why you think your meal really matters. Ask for a donation (maybe a fiver, maybe more!) and then donate the profits to FoodCycle so that we can, in turn, create even more Meals that Matter.


FoodCycle Meals that Matter: create a dinner with a difference! from FoodCycle on Vimeo


What’s it all for?

By hosting a Meals that Matter event, you’ll be helping us to serve even more nutritious meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation.

“If it wasn’t for places like this we wouldn’t have a hot meal in the week. This is the only place we can get something to eat that’s actually cooked properly.” – Guest at FoodCycle Sheffield

Our projects have a real impact locally, providing the tangible benefit of a three-course meal, served with dignity in a warm and welcoming environment. FoodCycle is a small and growing charity where your donations make a huge difference – come and volunteer with us to see for yourself!

Host one at work

Bring your team together by hosting a lunchtime Meal that Matters at work! There are lots of ways you could do this – here are just a few ideas:

  • A weeklong series of Meals that Matter: a group of five takes it in turns to cook a dish a day. You could vote for the best at the end of the week or even turn it into a fortnight of events with a leader-board!
  • Bring-a-dish style event: pick your favourite cuisine and get stuck in. This would work particularly well with tapas, mezze or fajitas!
  • Potluck party: as above… but don’t discuss what you’re bringing beforehand. Just make sure that you don’t waste any of it – bring takeaway containers in case of leftovers!
  • Sandwich party: this is surely the easiest way to get as many people involved as possible. Low-cost, minimal effort, and everyone loves a good sandwich!

“The food was fabulous, the company was amazing and it was an excellent opportunity to bond over our shared love of great food.” – Sauce Communications, hosts of a picnic-style Meal that Matters

Host one at home

Looking for an excuse to get to know your neighbours? Or maybe you never got round to inviting your friends and family round to admire your new flat/car/dog/wallpaper.  Have a look at these tips that will make it a stress-free and fun night in:

  • Do what you can the night before: reduce after-work stress by getting all the chopping done the night before or preparing a dish in advance.
  • Lose the chairs: if you’re worried about not having enough chairs, why not host a Middle-Eastern style event where everyone sits around low tables on the floor?
  • Use low-cost homemade decorations: long-stem candles in bottles, metallic spray-painted branches, cut flowers in a (clean!) milk bottle, tea lights in glasses of coloured sand… Maybe these finishing touches will get you even more donations after coffee and after-eights?

Lesley from Basingstoke hosted a popup Indian cafe themed Meals that Matter event at her home with her friend Karen: “We made pakora, samosas, bread, channah mosala and dhal, inspired by our friend Mohammed who had given us the recipes. Twenty or so friends and family trickled in throughout the afternoon and all in all we had an excellent day, people were very complimentary about the food and we raised over £170!


If you’d like to sign up to host a Meals that Matter event then please download our toolkit and then simply host your dinner! You can also access online resources by clicking on the boxes to the right. If you’ve any queries please email [email protected] or call us on 020 7729 2775.

Join us, and help us to serve more meals that really do matter to vulnerable people this year.


You can download our toolkit here or sign up below to receive one in the post!


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Help us to make sure no good food is wasted. Donate your time, food or money. Thank you!