Food & Drink
A notice board outside of Etna Community Centre in Twickenham

Twickenham project supports community in cost-of-living crisis

The cost-of-living crisis has impacted many people in the south west London area with many seeking cheaper options for food.

The Real Junk Food Project operates a pay as you feel café in Twickenham as well as other various areas around the country.

Pay as you feel allows for customers to pay how much they can afford for café items.

They aim to provide affordable and healthy food to those subject to food poverty as well as a warm and non-judgemental place where people can feel welcome and pay their way.

As well as this, they operate on principles of zero food wastage and self-sustainability therefore giving away any surplus food they have leftover at the end of the day to those who need it.

When talking about the cost of living crisis, director of the project Penny Vegting said: “There has been food poverty for some time, it is not a new phenomenon.

“But we are seeing a few new people come as well, which indicates there are more people potentially who are falling into the food poverty trap.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, around nine in ten adults in Great Britain continue to report that their cost of living has increased, equal to around 46 million people.

One of the common reasons for an increased cost-of-living is a rise in the price of a food shop. 

As of May 2022, the project has fed 23,166 bellies through 558 volunteer hours a month and therefore diverted 116 tonnes of food from landfill.

A team of drivers work seven days a week to collect food from the project’s partners, which include Tesco, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer’s, Cavan Bakery, Harris and Hoole, the Co-op, and Lidl.

Once collected, the food is then used to prepare nutritious meals. Their typical menu includes homemade soup, a variety of main menu dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options, and a dessert.

In addition, they serve tea, coffee, smoothies, and a variety of cakes and pastries.

Volunteer roles are available for those who are willing to support the community and fight against food waste.

You can find the café at the Etna Community Centre in East Twickenham.

The café is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 until 13:30.

For more information visit their Instagram, Twitter or Facebook pages.

Featured image credit: The Real Junk Food Project

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