Not only is the not-for-profit preventing food waste, but also doing good for the community.
‘Waste food not-for-profit’ Open Kitchen MCR is the city’s only waste food catering social enterprise, and they do some incredible work every single year to reduce the amount of food waste in Manchester, as well as provide delicious meals with ingredients that would have otherwise been thrown in the bin. Now, the business is using its do-gooder skills to help the community during the tough Coronavirus pandemic.
While Open Kitchen MCR would usually operate a food waste catering programme in exchange for income, the business will be switching their focus from now on, providing free meals to those most vulnerable during this time.
In a statement, a spokesperson has said:
“We’re starting to be contacted by people who are going to struggle to keep themselves fed
during the Coronavirus social distancing protocols. The first people affected seem to be those
who are currently well, but at high risk due to existing health concerns, and therefore having to
“As the measures take hold, we imagine there will be a huge number of people
affected, including children who would normally receive a free school meal, people in food
poverty who would normally visit a food bank or community centre for support, and people who
become ill and have a limited network of support around them.”
Continuing: “We are starting to prepare good “home-cooked” meals, and to portion them out into microwaveable containers. We plan to make and deliver a mix of meals and groceries to people who are struggling.”
Additionally to the meals which will be provided to those who need them the most, the service will also help to provide groceries and food to those who are slightly more privileged and able to pay for their own meals, but unable to get what they need from the store – whether it’s the elderly who are unable to leave their house or those who are really sick.
To help with the project, Open Kitchen MCR are currently calling on any businesses who have food going to waste as a result of the outbreak, accepting any un-prepped food and raw ingredients, prepped food less than 48 hours old (except for sandwiches and any food from a hot hold) and any drinks and snacks.
If you’re finding yourself unoccupied during this self-isolation period (and fit and well, most importantly), you can volunteer to help with delivering and cooking the meals, or donate to the cause here. Please contact Open Kitchen MCR directly to enquire about volunteering.