An appeal has been launched to gain enough funds to open a community kitchen in Cliftonville.
The Thanet Iceberg Project (TIP, which is a community organisation, aims to use food waste to help tackle food poverty in the area.
TIP works with people in Thanet who are marginalised or isolated – whether through circumstance, poverty or discrimination.
They believe the cafe will not only provide a base for their work but also a space where everyone will be welcome.
TIP director Alexander Roarke said: “The Kitchen will provide a welcoming environment that allows vulnerable clients to relax and socialise with others over nourishing food, along with an opportunity to make new friends.
“We hope to provide a place where all within the community – whether they are new to the area or long-term residents, in work or out of work, living comfortably or barely scraping by, housed or homeless – can eat and socialise together and in doing so help build a stronger community.”
The group is taking over a vacant property at 3 Cliff Terrace and needs to fund the renovation and redecoration of the venue. Operating over two floors, the ground floor will be the cafe area designed around the feel of a domestic open plan kitchen, with downstairs being turned in to a “snug” available for other not-for-profit community organisations to use for free, or for hire by other groups.
The chef behind the Kitchen, Ann Newstead (pictured), believes that using food waste is an obvious way to address food poverty and aims to run on a “use waste not make waste” principle.
She said: “Taking inspiration from the “la cucina povera”, the ‘peasant’ (or literally ‘poor’) cooking style of Southern Italy, we will be collecting surplus but perfectly usable food every evening from FareShare Kent and some of the many fantastic food businesses in our area and turning it in to nourishing and delicious meals for the next day.”
With a daily changing menu, the Kitchen will operate a two tier pricing system: “need it” and “want it”. Ann said: “The ‘need it’ price will be set as low as possible to make good food in a cafe environment affordable for everyone in the community, including families on tight budgets or relying on benefits.
“The idea of the ‘want it’ price is that, whilst still being excellent value for money, the customer has the chance to pay forward the profit from their meal to help those in more difficult circumstances”.
TIP is now appealing for the community to support them. As well as cash donations to the fundraising page on JustGiving, the team are looking for local individuals that can join with them on their work days, as well as businesses willing to provide donate materials or services or sponsor items in their budget.
The group aims to raise £15,500 with £5,000 needed by July 1. Find the fundraising page here