Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet opens ‘Our Shop’ social food club in Ramsgate

Sharon Goodyer and mayor Raushan Ara at the Ramsgate Our Shop

Our Shop food club has opened a new base in Ramsgate today (November 10).

The ‘shop’ offers goods at drastically reduced prices, meal kits, chances to learn new recipes, useful information sessions on nutrition and opportunities to taste new products.

Food is provided by organisations and groups including FareShare – which takes  good quality surplus from right across the food industry and redistributes to charities- Kent Gleaners and Windmill Community Gardens allotments. The scheme is backed by county councillor Barry Lewis. Public donations are also welcome.

The first ‘Our Shop; opened in Margate High Street at the end of August and now has more than 200 families signed up.

It is run by Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet,  a community interest  company headed up by Ramsgate resident Sharon Goodyer and trustees, staff and volunteers.

The organisation has hosted Summer Kitchen sessions since 2018 – serving some 1,642 meals to families in that first year – based at Drapers Mills primary and  Dame Janet primary. During the pandemic the Kitchen adapted to become one of the suppliers of food to people in need across Thanet.

Now it is running the Our Shop food clubs– with quality, health food at low prices.

The Ramsgate base is at St George’s Church Hall in Broad Street, following talks with the Canterbury diocese, and will be open from 10am to 3pm, Tuesday to Saturday. It started service for the first time today at noon following a low key ‘official’ opening by Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara.

Sharon, who is joined by Ramsgate residents and volunteers Ben and Geta, said: “We opened at midday to members -they might have registered with us at Drapers Mills school in the summer holidays or at our Margate Food Club in the last 9 weeks – and everyone else who wants to become a member.

“New members need to want to improve their diet.  We help with friendship, knowledge, recipe cards. Meal kits, tastings, demonstrations and affordable healthier food some of it brought in from local fields and orchards by the gleaners.”

“We have done everything we can to ensure we can stay open.”

Three members at a time will be able to go into the Our Shop to make sure there is adequate social distancing.

Mayor Raushan Ara said: “This morning I was delighted to open the Our Kitchen shop at the St George’s Church hall in Ramsgate.

“This will give some of our residents who are facing difficulties financially the chance to shop within their budget and eat healthily. I would like to say a massive thank you to Sharon Goodyer and her team who has been working very hard over the last four years with her project and continuing support the people of Thanet.

“In this difficult time Our Kitchen shop will be very much appreciated within our community.”

A members’ management committee is currently being formed to take charge of Our Shop.

Sharon’s work was also recently recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who presented her with a Point of Light award. The awards are given daily to outstanding volunteers for their inspirational service as a ‘Point of Light‘.

‘Our Shop’ is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am to 3pm. It is run entirely by volunteers. To register pop to the store or contact the Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet facebook page.