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Cambridge Sustainable Food sets up in St Philip’s Church kitchen





The kitchen at St Philip’s Church in Romsey has been made available to Cambridge Sustainable Food (CSF) for use preparing meals for delivery to vulnerable families and individuals across the city over the festive period.

Launch of Good Food Neighbourhood, Cambridge Sustainable Food starting to use donated food that would other be wasted to create nutritious meals, from left at the St Philip’s Church Good Food Neighbourhood opening are, from left, Louise Baker, CSF food justice coordinator; churchgoer Martin Clark; Bea Brown, CSF’s community food centre & cookery coordinator; mayor of Cambridge Cllr Mark Ashton; Revd Ruth Barry of St Philip’s Church; Gemma Birley, CSF director and head of programmes; and Becca Smith, project and volunteer coordinator. Picture: Keith Heppell
Launch of Good Food Neighbourhood, Cambridge Sustainable Food starting to use donated food that would other be wasted to create nutritious meals, from left at the St Philip’s Church Good Food Neighbourhood opening are, from left, Louise Baker, CSF food justice coordinator; churchgoer Martin Clark; Bea Brown, CSF’s community food centre & cookery coordinator; mayor of Cambridge Cllr Mark Ashton; Revd Ruth Barry of St Philip’s Church; Gemma Birley, CSF director and head of programmes; and Becca Smith, project and volunteer coordinator. Picture: Keith Heppell

The CSF cookery crew will be based at the Cornerstone Cafe kitchen at the Mill Road church, preparing hot meals which will be frozen on-site awaiting delivery to families and individuals across the city. As well as CSF’s wider work for the wider community, the team will also be working with the Church to facilitate a warm and welcoming space over this coming winter – St Philip’s runs a warm hub on Wednesdays and Fridays.

CSF is a partnership of individuals, businesses and organisations who support and promote local sustainable food in Cambridge.

Opening the new facility, the mayor of Cambridge, Mark Ashton, said: “Cambridge is built on communities and we want communities to work together even closer, and this is a great opportunity. My heart goes out to everyone working here and it’s my pleasure to declare that you are officially open.”

Guests were given drinks and cakes prepared in the kitchen, made from surplus or about-to-be-discarded food.

Visitors to St Philip’s Church cafe, there for the warm hub, drinks and Cambridge Sustainable Food cakes. Picture: Mike Scialom
Visitors to St Philip’s Church cafe, there for the warm hub, drinks and Cambridge Sustainable Food cakes. Picture: Mike Scialom

Sam Dyer, CEO of CSF, said: “We are very excited to be working with St Philip’s on this project and offer thanks for their generosity with helping us find a kitchen. This project represents a little bit of positivity and hope during a time when the outlook is bleak for many people. We will continue to focus on our core work of making sure people are able to eat whilst we explore ways in which other aspects such as loneliness, health and community can be addressed.

“We’ve just moved in, so it’s early days. The idea is we will make the kitchen a community hub where we will be cooking, and we’re very much wanting to engage the people of Romsey. This is all about bringing people together around food in the neighbourhood and exploring ways in which we can support each other.”

Ruth Barry, St Philip’s Church vicar, said: “We are delighted to be working with CSF. We know the valuable work they do in ensuring food gets to those that need it and they have a desire to see communities come together which is so strongly linked with our desire to provide a safe, welcoming and warm space for everyone. This collaboration offers a wonderful opportunity for us to work with and in our local community and to ensure no one need be isolated this winter.”

St Philip’s Church on Mill Road
St Philip’s Church on Mill Road

Earlier this month, CSF’s distribution centre is moving from Buchan Street in King’s Hedges to Barnwell, where CSF will continue to circulate surplus, donations, fresh produce to the food hubs and organisations throughout the city who are doing the heroic frontline work of making sure people get fed.

CSF will also continue to provide cooked meals for the Holiday Lunch programme and other citywide programmes and this winter are working with Cambridge City Council and Cambridge City Foodbank to send out over 700 Christmas hampers to families and get 200 Christmas meals to older people in sheltered housing.

This initial pilot is part of longer-term plans for developing a model called Good Food Neighbourhood, first piloted in Cardiff and also operating in Bristol. This brings people together in the area to talk about, socialise over and work on community led projects such as growing or cooking together.



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