The Clare Foundation is pleased to be working in partnership with national charity FoodCycle, who have launched a weekly community meal for Bucks residents at the Aylesbury Vineyard on Gatehouse Close. Together with Buckinghamshire Council, we have supported FoodCycle with a grant to establish their new Aylesbury service.
Emily Macauley Wilcox, FoodCycle’s South East Regional Manager, says:
Every Tuesday evening since July, FoodCycle Aylesbury has been welcoming guests at The Vineyard Church for a 3 course, sit down meal. Our dinners are totally free of charge, and anyone is welcome to come and eat with us – no booking required or questions asked. Our volunteers transform donated surplus food into tasty vegetarian menus that change every week – it’s incredible to see what we can create with fruit and veg that otherwise would have gone to waste!
Since the launch, we have served 186 guests and repurposed 293kg of surplus food.
We’re very grateful for the Clare Foundation for all of their support so far in getting this meal off the ground.
FoodCycle’s vision is to make food poverty, loneliness and food waste a thing of the past. They operate 50 projects across the UK, and the Aylesbury meal is the first in Bucks, with a second planned for High Wycombe later this year.
We are FoodCycle, and our vision is to make food poverty, loneliness and food waste a thing of the past for every community.
We connect communities, reducing loneliness and food poverty – working with thousands of volunteers and surplus food to help everyone who needs us. By creating welcoming spaces for people from all walks of life to meet, eat and have conversations, and by offering a weekly telephone Check-in and Chat, we are supporting people’s health and mental wellbeing.
By cooking with surplus ingredients, we promote healthy, sustainable attitudes towards food and its impact on the environment and help people to learn more about healthy food.
We aim to inspire greater change by sharing the impact of our community dining spaces and the voices of our guests to encourage more people to join and support FoodCycle, so we can help more people and more communities.
A team of committed, local volunteers has been recruited and trained including The Clare Foundation’s, Head of Operations, Helen Mee who has helped as a host. Emily is keen to hear from anyone who might like to volunteer with FoodCycle and here are the roles available:
Project Leaders*(various times on Tuesday afternoon with some minor out-of-session commitments) – our senior volunteers who commit to volunteering regularly – leading sessions, making sure guests have an amazing time, and being a vital part of the FoodCycle family. We couldn’t do FoodCycle without our Project Leaders! More info here: https://foodcycle.org.uk/volunteer-roles/project-leader/
Cooking volunteers (Tuesdays 4pm-8.30pm) – working as a team, creating a 3-course meal using the donated surplus food in a “Ready Steady Cook” style test of imagination!
Hosting volunteers (Tuesdays 5pm-8.30pm) – working as a team to serve a delicious meal and share conversation with our guests, helping to strengthen and build a resilient community. Many of our guests are very isolated and rely on our meals for a sense of community and to build friendship.
*Project Leaders commit to volunteering once a month, but there is no minimum commitment for Cooking and Hosting volunteers – you can volunteer as frequently or infrequently as you like.
You can find out more about our volunteering roles by clicking here.
The Vineyard provides an ideal venue, with an accessible dining area. It is a level walk from the town centre, and only 12 minutes’ walk from Aylesbury railway station/bus station; and there is plenty of free parking on-site for people who wish to drive.
You can find out more about the service by clicking here.