A takeover of Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet by Social Enterprise Kent (SEK) is now complete.
SEK will be at the helm when the ‘Our Shop’ sites in Margate High Street and St George’s church hall in Ramsgate reopen tomorrow (October 11).
Scheme founder Sharon Goodyer is retiring from the venture after five years at the helm.
Our Kitchen was first set up by Sharon in July 2017, initially from the former Cliffsend Village Stores, to offer healthy meals. ranging from 70p, £1.40 and chef’s specials at around £4.
Since then it has grown from Our Kitchen summer sessions to the permanent ‘social supermarket’ shops,
In 2018 the first Summer Kitchen sessions began at Drapers Mills primary during the school break, aimed at making sure children and families were fed with affordable, nutritious meals as well as having activities to take part in.
The scheme – which served some 1,642 meals to families in that first year – then expanded in 2019 to run at Drapers Mills primary and Dame Janet primary.
In 2020/21 Our Kitchen worked with food banks and FareShare delivering over 2,000 free food bags to make sure vulnerable people and families were fed during the pandemic and opened Our Shop in Margate High Street followed by another in Ramsgate.
It is now set for another chapter under SEK with an expansion in the services offered.
Margate resident and campaigner Jack Packman, who is contract manager for SEK, said there will be the introduction of services for employability, social prescribing, health checks.
He said: “We are really excited to be able to continue the work Sharon and the Our Kitchen team have been delivering to the community in Thanet. It is important that grassroot support is available to people especially in the cost of living crisis and the winter pressures ahead.
“We will do all we can to support people to access good and healthy food, while supporting individuals and families to tackle problems they may be facing, holistically.”