National food charity FoodCycle will open a new London project this month, serving healthy free three-course meals for vulnerable people in Hackney.

London, 19th January 2015. FoodCycle are opening a new project this month in Hackney, running in partnership with Outward, a charity that supports vulnerable people in London. The food will be surplus produce donated by supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and a number of local independent retailers. Volunteers will then cook these ingredients into nutritious three-course meals for people at risk from food poverty and social isolation in the community.

FoodCycle Hackney will be based at the New Kingshold Community Centre on Ainsworth Street (E9 7JE) and will serve a healthy lunch every Thursday for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation locally. The Hub is officially launching on Thursday 5th February and we are inviting the press to attend. Interviews will be available with FoodCycle Chief Executive Mary McGrath and other senior spokespeople from 12pm with a photocall at 1pm. 

FoodCycle now has a total of 20 volunteer-powered community projects across the UK, and these projects have served over 118,000 meals in the last five years, made using over 130,000kg of reclaimed surplus food. FoodCycle was Highly Commended at The Charity Awards 2014 and won the Climate Week Award for ‘Best Community Initiative’ 2014. FoodCycle also sits on the London Food Board and has been actively involved in the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry on Hunger and Food Poverty, which culminated in the ‘Feeding Britain’ report in December 2014.

FoodCycle Hackney

Venue: New Kingshold Community Centre, Ainsworth Street, London, E9 7JE

Partner Organisation: Outward

Serving: Every Thursday lunchtime, 12:30pm from 8th January 2015

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Website: http://foodcycle.org.uk/location/foodcycle-hackney/

Carly Attridge, Deputy Volunteering Manager, Outward said “The Hackney Hub opened its doors to guests on the 8th January this year. The hub is just off Well Street, and is easily accessible to the local community. It is a place for local people to enjoy a free nutritious meal in a friendly environment, and to meet new people. Hackney is badly in need of an initiative like FoodCycle to help tackle food poverty in the borough. While Hackney benefited from investment in the build up to London 2012, it is still among the 15 boroughs with the highest percentage of low-paid residents (according to most recent data) at 21-23%. It is also in the top ten of boroughs with residents in temporary accommodation and in the top two of boroughs with number of residents accepted as homeless (according to most recent data).We are very grateful to Hackney Homes and London Borough of Hackney, who have given us the space and have been a great support in the project so far.” 

Kieran Daly, Head of Programmes at FoodCycle says:

With rising food poverty and the ongoing problem of food waste across the UK, we know the need for FoodCycle exists more than ever. We’re excited to be working with the partner organisations involved in these two projects to provide an important service to the community in Hackney and Peckham. For anyone local who’s passionate about helping others and fighting food waste, we urge you to get involved, come and volunteer and help make these projects a success” 

Councillor Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture said: “I am delighted that Hackney Council is supporting this worthwhile initiative to help reduce social isolation and food poverty. Our community centres are going from strength to strength and the Foodcycle scheme is one of a number of free services and activities provided at the New Kingshold Centre.”

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