It’s just that – tasty food and great company!
Every week, our volunteers collect surplus food and cook it, Ready, Steady, Cook-style, into delicious three-course meals which they serve to you, our guests.
– Everyone is welcome
– Meals are totally free
– You don’t need a referral or a voucher
– If we have extra surplus food that week, our guests are welcome to take it home
You’ll be welcomed by our volunteers, who’ll sit down together with you to enjoy a meal and a chat.
We don’t ask questions and you don’t need any particular reason to come other than fancying a meal and some company.
Feel like joining us?
Everyone is welcome at FoodCycle. We know that the cost of living continues to increase, so whatever your reason for needing a meal, you are welcome to join us. Some people come for the food. Some people come for the company. No matter your background, you’ll be greeted warmly by our friendly volunteers.
Find your nearest location here
If you are over 18, yes! We have a number of different roles from welcoming our guests, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, helping collect surplus food, managing regional social media pages or making weekly phone calls. All volunteers must be over 18 and no specific experience is required.
Visit our volunteer page for more information and to sign up here.
We go where we’re needed to provide support for the people who benefit from our services, from older guests to refugees and asylum seekers, homeless people and those affected by mental ill health or tight budgets. We look for areas that could benefit from our community dining model, and where we might find a steady source of willing volunteers and local businesses happy to donate surplus food.
Most importantly, we start a conversation – working with local organisations to provide insight on the needs and problems facing each community’s residents. We monitor and evaluate carefully to ensure all our Projects are effective, nourish as many people as possible and strengthen the community from within.
If you would like to ask about setting up a FoodCycle in your area please complete our location enquiry form here.
Food poverty is the inability to get enough healthy, affordable food. This can be due to lack of income, poor transport to local shops, knowledge about what constitutes a healthy diet, or the skills to create healthy meals.
Food poverty is a complex mix of factor factors, but they result in people on low incomes having the lowest intakes of fruit and vegetables and being far more likely to suffer from diet-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease.
FoodCycle isn’t a food bank. Food banks will provide items to be taken home to cook. FoodCycle runs Community Meals, which means we invite people to come and sit with us, around a table and enjoy a hot, nutritious meal. Our meals are served with warmth and dignity by friendly volunteers in a welcoming environment. Our weekly community dining service not only helps tackle food poverty but it also helps alleviate loneliness by bringing the community together.
Surplus food is food which is fit for human consumption, but has no commercial value for the retailer. This food, which may ultimately go to waste, may have become damaged in transit, might be past its ‘best before’ date or might have been over-ordered. It’s still perfectly good food, and we put it to good use.
In the UK, an estimated 12 million tonnes of food is wasted each year at all levels from plough to plate whilst 4 million people are affected by food poverty. At least 400,000 tonnes of this food is thrown away at retail level. At FoodCycle, we’re doing something about this by making use of edible food to create nutritious three-course meals for those who need it.
FoodCycle works with supermarkets, small independent grocery shops and markets to source perfectly edible surplus food in a safe and responsible way. We only reclaim fresh fruit and vegetables and we purchase extra ingredients such as dried foods and spices to make our meals as balanced and nutritious as possible.
We are only able to accept food donations from supermarkets, small independent grocery shops and markets. We can take fresh produce (e.g. fruit, vegetables and bread) and dried goods (e.g. pasta, lentils and spices). We are unable to accept meat, fish, food past its use by date, or ready-prepared foods, such as doughnuts, sandwiches or microwave meals.
We are unable to accept donations or small quantities from individuals – if you are looking to donate food, contact our friends at Plan Zheroes, Trussell Trust or Olio.
FoodCycle only serves meat-free food. The practical and legal hurdles to obtaining and serving meat and fish are substantial, and we couldn’t access it in the safe and easy way we can with fruit and vegetables. More importantly, by serving meat-free food, our meals are accessible to people of all cultures and religions.
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