An album with numbers from some 20 artists has been released to raise funds for Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet.
Our Kitchen, headed up by Sharon Goodyer, currently runs ‘Our Shop’ food clubs with low cost but high nutrition food at sites in Margate and Ramsgate – with agreement made for a pop-up in Westgate too.
The community interest organisation has also 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.
The album, called Our Music, features artists including musical legend Lee Scratch Perry, dub master Adrian Sherwood (On U Sound), sonic artist Mark Stewart (The Pop Group / The Maffia) and BAFTA winning composer Simon Boswell.
A facebook page for the music fundraiser says: “Our Music is a fundraising download compilation to help Our Kitchen On The Isle Of Thanet alleviate some of the suffering of food poverty. (Our Kitchen) helps people who are struggling to get a proper, nutritious diet.
“With over 24% of Thanet’s children living in poverty, food becomes an issue and is often overlooked. People shouldn’t be missing meals because of money. People should be eating a proper diet all the time.”
“Our Music” has been released through Bandcamp today (December 4).
The Our Kitchen-led social ‘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. A second opened at St George’s Church Hall in Broad Street, in November and a third is open for the festive period in partnership with Changing Minds Kent.
Our Shop volunteer Ben Millar organised the album release, which also includes Margate artist BABii (pictured below) and The Ramsgate Hovercraft plus a special Andrew Weatherall remix of Meat Raffle and East Kent duo Liotia.
Ben says he was driven to action after getting involved with volunteering during the first Covid lockdown.
He said: “I’ve always known about being poor and hungry, but during the first lockdown I answered the call as it were, from my friend, Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt. I volunteered to help deliver food bags to people in isolation.
“One time I was getting bags out from the back when two little kids, about 6 or 7 years old, came running up to me and the little girl said, excitedly, “Have you brought our fruit?”.
“You shouldn’t be hearing that in this day and age. I think that moment defined for me that I should be helping with this situation.
“I volunteered to work at the (social) shop in Drapers Mills School with Sharon, Gita and Paula. Within an hour of working with Sharon, I was convinced. She is a powerhouse of inspiration. I’m not sure I even gave a second’s thought about whether I wanted to do it, I just knew.
“And straight away I felt part of the team that was hoping to alleviate some of the suffering of food poverty. That’s an incredibly good feeling, and it’s not one you usually get from a day’s work.”
Ben says he suggested the album fundraiser when Our Shop opened in Margate and organised it with help from friends, friends of friends and his cousin, Robin Jax from Robin Plays Chords.
He said: “Once we had the shop set up in Margate, I suggested the idea of a fundraising, download compilation. Sharon didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, but she trusted me to look into it.
“The new digital market makes it a lot easier for us to do what we’ve done. There is no financial risk to us. If it works, great! If it doesn’t, never mind, I’ve got loads of new music.
“Saying that, it hasn’t been easy and I’ve relied on a lot of great help. The musicians have all been really good. Nobody turned me down and nobody needed chasing. Patrick Luke at Sonskrif kept sending me more stuff. Mark Stewart and Kyle MaCallum offered me invaluable help throughout. Matt Smyth from Ramsgate based, Liotia, did all my mastering for free. Local dub master, Adrian Sherwood was always on hand as well as the amazing Jo Wallace at Ramrock Records.”
The downloadable record costs £5, although more can be paid if wished, and all proceeds will go towards Our Kitchen, alleviating some of the suffering around food poverty and ensuring that everyone in Thanet is able to access affordable, healthy and convenient meals.
Our Shop Margate
51 High Street, open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am to 3pm.
Our Shop Ramsgate
The Ramsgate base is at St George’s Church Hall in Broad Street and is open from 10am to 3pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
Our Shop Westgate
Hosted at The Lodge for a temporary branch over the festive period (dates tbc)
The food club will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am – 3pm.
The Lodge is at: 64 Westgate Bay Avenue, Westgate
Covid 19 regulations are in place as always, the team will only be able to let in two customers at a time
To register for the food club pop to one of the sites or contact the Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet facebook page.