Glossop’s Norfolk Square was packed last Saturday as Christmas shoppers had the chance to experience ‘social eating’ courtesy of Derbyshire County Council’s ‘Feeding Derbyshire’ project.
The initiative will see “Super Kitchens” in each Derbyshire borough and district – in venues including churches, children’s centres and schools – where the whole community can come together to eat low cost, nutritious meals made with surplus food.
In Glossop, Dukes Café on High Street East will be hosting a meal on every second Sunday of the month through 2017.
Karl Duke, the proprietor of the family-run business, has dubbed the project, which will be delivered on the day by volunteers, The Sunday Service.
He explained why the café, which will celebrate its second anniversary in January, has become involved.
“We always envisaged Dukes as being more than just a place to get great coffee,” Karl said.
“We wanted it to be a place where people would feel connected to their community, part of the greater whole. We use ethically-sourced coffee, try to buy other food and drink locally and support local artists and musicians by providing a venue for them to showcase their talent.
“Being part of the ‘social eating’ initiative is very important to us and, with the launch event done, we are looking forward to January 8 and the first Sunday Service.”
Duke’s Café is being joined by Bare Necessities Foodbank in delivering the project and supported by Be Well, the social enterprise formerly known as WellFit Health & Wellbeing CIC.
The project is based on the work of Nottingham-based campaigner Marsha Smith and will use surplus food, which is still in-date but would otherwise end up being thrown away by supermarkets, to provide members of the local community with hot, nutritious, affordable meals eaten in company with people from across all social strata.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Dave Allen, said: “Super Kitchens are a great way of bringing communities together to socialise and enjoy an affordable meal while making the best use of surplus food from supermarkets. People from all walks of life can go along, have a chat and enjoy a nutritious, healthy, low cost meal.
“As well as the social and community side of Super Kitchens the scheme also supports our work to tackle food poverty.
“Research shows lack of proper nutrition affects people’s physical and mental health which in the long term causes huge pressures on health and social care costs so there’s an economic as well as a moral case for us to take preventative action by supporting schemes like Super Kitchens.”
The Super Kitchen model is also explained fully at http://superkitchen.org/.