Cambridge Community Kitchen: providing nutritious food to the local community
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many socioeconomic problems in the UK to the fore. In a country with the sixth highest GDP in the world, 17% of the population live in poverty, meaning many people are homeless, require food banks or struggle to make ends meet. These inequalities have been exacerbated during the pandemic, with unemployment soaring in recent months (1). As such, many people are struggling to feed their families and, as shown by the Free School Meals debacles (2), the government is doing very little to help them.
Who are Cambridge Community Kitchen?
The issue of food poverty was recognised by residents of The Lockon, a legal squat in Cambridge, who accordingly set up the Cambridge Community Kitchen (CCK). CCK is a food solidarity collective aiming to tackle food poverty in Cambridge by offering free, hot, plant-based meals to anyone in need. They want to ensure that nobody in Cambridge goes hungry this winter, while strengthening the community and building new systems for mutual care, shifting power from corporations and government back into the local community.
How are CCK tackling food poverty?
In order to achieve their aims, the team registered The Lockon as a registered food premises with the Council and then began food production and delivery in October 2020. With the help of donations and volunteers (with strict adherence to government coronavirus restrictions), the team is now cooking and delivering 300 meals per week, and the service is rapidly expanding. Food is delivered or available for collection from The Lockon on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays and there are ‘community fridges’ outside The Lockon from which disadvantaged people can take food whenever they like.
This is such an important initiative, not just now, but in years to come. All humans have a right to proper nutrition, particularly in a country as rich as ours. Without good food, we can expect the health of the poorest to deteriorate, and socioeconomic inequalities to deepen. The government has failed us, so we need to take charge of the situation ourselves and support those who are most vulnerable.
More about CCK:
To learn more, donate to the initiative, or sign up to volunteer, you can get all the information you need here: https://linktr.ee/cambscommunitykitchen.
More about the Author: Jennie Leggat
Jennie is a 3rd year PhD student in Clinical Biochemistry, with an interest in public health, particularly in relation to the incidence and prevention of metabolic disease.