We are excited to announce that Food in Community are about to open the doors on a new pay what you feel community café in Newton Abbot. Saturday 23rd February 2019, with lunch served from 12.30 – 2.30.

Imagine a tasty hot meal in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, there is acoustic music playing quietly in the background, and a hum of chatter. Then imagine being invited to pay what you can afford for your meal, knowing that all profits go to help provide good food for local families and tackling food waste.

Every week of the year, Food in Community’s volunteers source fresh surplus, mainly organic vegetables, fruit and other fresh produce and deliver it every week of the year to charities and community groups, including food banks, soup kitchens, nurseries, schools, youth groups and carer’s groups. It also runs cooking courses, workshops, and provides a catering service for community events. About four years ago, Food in Community started Totnes’s first ‘Pay What You Feel’ café using some of the surplus food collected, and it is now a very popular monthly social event.
“We saw that we had created something of value, using food to bring people together,” says David Markson, co-Director of Food in Community. “Last year, Food in Community won Transformative community business of the year, a national award bestowed by Social Enterprise UK in recognition of our social and environmental impact. When we asked why out of all the projects in the country, the judges had chosen our project, they said that our work could and should be replicated elsewhere. As we get a number of diners from Newton Abbot at our Totnes café, and we have existing relationships with charities in Newton Abbot, it made sense to us to start a similar café here.”

Chantelle Norton, also a co-Director, says “I’m excited by the enthusiasm shown for the new cafe locally, from the public, local councillors, the Avenue Church and charities providing food to people in crisis.” She added, “I’m also looking forward to getting to know new volunteers and introducing them to working with surplus food. We select the best ingredients, and the menu planning is a lot of fun, like the TV show ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ but on a bigger scale. We usually serve at least one hearty main course with sides, salads, soup and bread, and we make sure that there are always decent vegan and gluten free options on offer. It’s really rewarding to see people enjoying what you’ve served and having a good time.”

The friendly café team welcomes new volunteers. If you would like to get involved on the day at the café helping to prepare the food, or with front of house duties, for an hour or so helping to set up and make the venue welcoming, please get in touch. We are also on the lookout for local musicians: please contact us if you are interested in performing at the lunch. We also welcome young musicians who would like the experience of playing to a live audience in an unpressured environment. All volunteers eat and drink on the house of course!

Lunch, teas, coffee and cake will be served between 12.00-2.30 at the Avenue Church hall on Saturday February 23rd, then Saturday March 30th, and then on the fourth Saturday of each month. We look forward to welcoming you.

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