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Community kitchen in Dundee will help tackle pandemic poverty and food waste

Signpost International's Caroline Bentley in the new community kitchen
Signpost International's Caroline Bentley in the new community kitchen

A new community kitchen project will see surplus food turned into free fresh meals for those struggling in Dundee.

Signpost International and Dundee Foodbank’s initiative, launched this week, will help tackle the surge in demand for emergency food during the pandemic.

The charities say the Roundhouse Community Kitchen will also make a small dent in the estimated 26,000 tonnes of food that goes to waste every year in the city.

Michael Calder, stock coordinator at Dundee Foodbank, says the team are “very excited” to support the effort.

He said: “We have a truly remarkable support base of people donating here in Dundee. However, the financial impact of the coronavirus will last a long time and place our service under significant strain.

“If we can capitalise on using surplus food already in the system and transform it into freshly prepared meals to include among our food parcels, it will help us keep up with our unfortunately high demand.

“Additionally, given the environmental impact of food waste, we are proud to be supporting the Roundhouse Community Kitchen.”

Volunteers needed

It will be delivered by Signpost International from its Dundee centre on Lothian Crescent.

It is also being run in partnership with Dundee Food Insecurity Network, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (DVVA), and Alexander’s Community Development.

Caroline Bentley, Signpost’s food & health development officer at the project, added: “There are loads of ways local businesses can get involved, from redirecting usable food waste to us, asking their kitchen staff if they’d like to volunteer, giving us their recipe suggestions or even through financial support towards our running costs or larder essentials that we can’t rely on finding through waste streams.

“As we get settled in, we’ll be looking for other volunteers to help us with all aspects of the project.”

Kara Swankie, Operations Manager at Alexander’s Community Development added: “We are delighted to continue to support the food insecurity work that is happening in the city and believe the project that Signpost is beginning is a viable way to help reduce food waste and ensure those in need get access to good food.”

The project is funded by the local Community Regeneration Forum, Bank of Scotland, Dundee Foodbank and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Gill Bain, north east project manager at DVVA, said: “Link Up Whitfield are looking forward to receiving frozen ready meals to offer at their community larder every week.

“This is another great example of partnership working and we are pleased to be involved in this initiative.”

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