Sainsbury’s staff to pitch in for Summer Kitchen 2 free meals and activity scheme in school holidays

Sainsbury's staff will join Sharon Goodyer at this year's Summer Kitchen scheme

Sainsbury’s Westwood has teamed up with the Summer Kitchen scheme as part of its 150th birthday celebrations.

Staff at the store will be pitching in to volunteer 600 hours at the Summer Kitchen – which launched last year and provided free meals, both eat in and takeaway, three days a week at Drapers Mills school in Margate and St Christopher’s Church in Ramsgate.

Thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, it was run by Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet -headed by Sharon Goodyer – with Drapers Mills school, Get Out Get Active (GOGA) Thanet, Fareshare, Asda, Windmill Allotments, Geoff Philpott’s farm, Your Leisure and county councillors Barry Lewis and Karen Constantine.

Sharon had a team of four professionals and a small army of volunteers helping out in the project which was funded by Cllr Lewis and Cllr Constantine.

During the scheme some 1,642 meals were served.

Summer Kitchen Episode 2 will take place during this year’s school holidays at Dame Janet primary in Ramsgate and Drapers Mills primary in Margate from 2pm to 8pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Monday, July 29. Meals are being served from 5pm.

Sainsbury’s Westwood staff will be rolling up their sleeves at the kitchen, working in Margate on Mondays and Fridays and Ramsgate on Wednesdays from July 29-August 9 and then Margate on Mondays and Ramsgate on Fridays during August 12-28.

Sainsbury’s organiser Rebecca Lane said: “We are celebrating Sainsbury’s 150th birthday by bringing people together in our community.

“We will be at the Summer Kitchen from 2pm each day to entertain and support the cooking.”

As well as free meals Summer Kitchen Episode 2 will be offering free activities, collaborative games, snacks and drinks, a social hub for families, energetic activity encouraged and led by professionals and trained volunteers.

There will be beach volleyball and pickleball and Sainsburys will be arranging free coaches to take people to the forest school, travel to the beach for volleyball and to go gleaning for local fruit and veg  in local farmers’ fields.

Street Games is providing  grant funding so Tom Tsangarides and his team from Inclusive Sport  will be at each site each day running games and energetic activities outside for everyone to join in with. There will be pickle ball and collaborative games.

Dame Janet will be helping the scheme with dry food storage and Chris Barton from the Ramsgate Town Team has volunteered his ‘man power.’

Financial support again comes from county councillors Barry Lewis and Karen Constantine. Sainsbury’s is also supporting the scheme with a ‘trolley appeal’ in store to help the kitchen with vital ingredients.

The community kitchen headed up by Sharon Goodyer Photo Dave Stillman

Sharon said: “Sainsburys are helping us this year as part of their 150 year celebration. They have given us 600 hours of voluntary help. These  volunteers are our neighbours who work for Sainsburys and we want to say a very big thank you for this very generous support form the company. 

“They have some exciting ideas: they are  planning to play boardgames with the children, cook with them, do craft activities and provide entertainment.

“The menu will be simpler this year so more people can help make dinner. We  will use the seasonal foods we are given from The Forest School, allotments and farmers locally, We buy well at Fareshare and we have all those donations from those  shopping at Sainsburys. Thanet Earth are also extremely generous to us.

“There will be less washing up this year because Henry Dimbleby from Leon restaurants is giving us cardboard takeaway boxes.”

To find out more about the Summer Kitchen follow the Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet facebook page or pop into Sainsburys Westwood and read the boards in the foyer.

Summer Kitchen Episode 2 details

Running every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2pm-8pm for 5 weeks starting Monday, July 29.

Two school sites, Dame Janet Primary Academy in Ramsgate and one in Margate to be confirmed.

The scheme is also being joined by isle children’s centres, The Little Art Cart and the Street Games Fit and Fed programme.

There will also be hula hooping, belly dancing, flower arranging, crochet, sour dough bread , board games to play, cookery lessons. singers and a Talking Shop. Last year topics included racism and child abuse. People are invited to get in touch if they would like to lead a talk or share a skill or craft, play an instrument or entertain.

Zena will come and read stories and a One You  trainer from the NHS and Regain Hearing will be doing health checks.

There will also be free places to train to level 2 food handling.

Food is coming from local allotments and farms, Kent gleaners, Fare Share, Thanet Earth, Gina’s bakery , Principals and Sainsburys.

Last year community volunteers also ran a women’s advocacy, swap shop, a shop for free sanitary and toilet items and free haircuts.

The Summer Kitchen is for anyone in Thanet who wants to rebuild the community, who wants to eat better and who wants to have fun and meet new people.  

All children eat for free an adults can choose what they pay. There will be red collection buckets in the restaurant. Donations of £2 – £3 will cover  the cost of an adult’s meal and help keep the children’s meals free all summer. 

Sharon said: “ Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet deals with all the background  things like planning, bookings, insurance, rotas, risk assessments, first aid, accounts, ordering, , uniform, marketing and advertising , storage, deliveries, keys, health and safety and time tables.

“Please bring your talents, your time and your  interests to The Summer Kitchen. We can do things on the spur of the moment so do not hesitate to share your good ideas.”

Sainsbury’s marks 150 years

Image from the Sainsbury Archive, Museum of London Docklands

It was 150 years ago this year that John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury set up the first Sainsbury’s at 173 Drury Lane in London.

The company has lived through six monarchs, 26 Prime Ministers and two World Wars, but just 11 CEOs.

John James and Mary Ann wanted to set up store that would offer people safe food so they focused on cleanliness and hygiene, at a time when this wasn’t a priority for many other retailers.

The first Sainsbury’s sold only 3 products: butter, milk and eggs.

However they soon realised that customers wanted a much wider range of products and wanted to be able to visit stores across the country.

So Sainsbury’s adapted and within 30 years there were 98 new branches, with the 100th store opening in 1903.

During the First World War the stores employed the first female sales assistants and in the Second World War many stores were bombed and one even had to open temporarily in a church hall.

Sainsbury’s has always played a role in communities and, to mark the birthday all staff are being given a day to help in their local areas. 


  1. As co founder of summer kitchen I am humbled by all the support we have received for this years project, this year on the entertainment side we will have musicians, magicians, comedians plus hairdressers and sportsman, it’s like a free holiday camp on your doorstep , we are the first in the country, come and enjoy and bring a friend!!

  2. Stop press, we are back at drapers mill school in downtown Margate thanks to their supportive headmaster joe Manclark

  3. Well done to all involved, but what a sad state of affairs when we have to rely on kind volunteers to make sure some of our less well of youngsters not only have some free activities in the summer holidays but will be fed courtesy of Sainsburys. Go on pinch yourself, no this isn’t England in mid 1920’s, this is now, 2019 in a country where we’ve just stumped up a load of cash for the wealthiest family in the world.
    I do hope Harry and the yank enjoy their new pad and they don’t struggle to feed the latest drain on the public purse.
    By the way are you all looking forward to having Boris Johnson as your next PM…what a joke we’ve become and not a very funny joke either!

  4. Hi I live in Canterbury, a retired nurse with enhance CRB in place as I am a first aider within my church and have an allotment I am happy to donate fresh vegetables and would like to volunteer if needed

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