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St Cuthbert's Church in West Hampstead now offers free Saturday meals cooked up with food waste thanks to charity FoodCycle

PUBLISHED: 16:30 08 April 2019

FoodCycle at St Cuthbert's Church in West Hampstead. Picture: FoodCycle

FoodCycle at St Cuthbert's Church in West Hampstead. Picture: FoodCycle

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An entrepreneurial West Hampstead vicar stepped in to give a food waste charity a new home and offer free hot meals to anyone who wants them.

FoodCycle at St Cuthbert's Church in West Hampstead. Picture: FoodCycleFoodCycle at St Cuthbert's Church in West Hampstead. Picture: FoodCycle

Now St Cuthbert’s Church in Fordwych Road is serving up vegetarian food every Saturday cooked from ingredients that would otherwise have ended up in the bin.

It’s the latest community space to work with charity FoodCycle, which runs similar projects across the country – and the church has even won cash to build a new kitchen off the back of it.

FoodCycle uses surplus supermarket produce that is slightly past its sell-by date.

St Cuthbert’s associate vicar Rev Hugh Thomas said: “I was approached by the charity who told me they had to leave their previous premises.

FoodCycle at St Cuthbert's Church in West Hampstead. Picture: FoodCycleFoodCycle at St Cuthbert's Church in West Hampstead. Picture: FoodCycle

“I’ve been in this position only since November last year, and this struck me as the perfect opportunity to reach out to the community.

“It [the charity] offers healthy vegetarian meals and they do that without questioning who comes in. It is completely open to everyone and as a result I see a lot of people coming in just for the company.”

Rev Thomas, who also works in the City during the week, used his business acumen to win a grant for the new kitchen from the church authority.

The regional manager of the charity, Matt Fazal, said: “Using surplus food and the energy of amazing volunteers, our model is very simple – and we are so pleased that FoodCycle will soon be up and running in the community.”

The charity is also looking for enthusiastic people who want to volunteer and give something back to their local community, he added.

There are a number of roles available from cooking leader to volunteer coordinator, as well as weekly volunteering opportunities.

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