Soup, Stories and Soul

A community response to the growing problem of hunger in Bangor, Gwynedd. Funding sought to develop a community co-op cafe and soup kitchen.

Project aim

A community response to the growing problem of hunger in Bangor, Gwynedd. Funding sought to develop a community co-op cafe and soup kitchen.

About the project

Ty Gwydr/The Greenhouse is a community building on the High Street in Bangor, Gwynedd. We so often have people coming into our reception looking for food vouchers for the foodbank and making enquiries about homeless services. The JobCentre recently had the phones removed so people needing to phone the JobCentre processing centre in Wrexham have to find phone credit to call often to be left on hold or cut off and start again from the beginning. Just today a young woman with epilepsy used our office phone to call JobCentre; their phones hung up on her 3 times and she had to start again; it was their administrative error that had left her cut off; no money, no food, all her utilities suspended. She ended up weeping that she hadn't eaten in 3 days. This lady was not homeless but she was desperately and heartbreakingly vulnerable. It seems only right and proper that Greenhouse as a community resource can be the focal point to rally a community response to our neighbours going hungry. Under no illusions that feeding people solves the wider systemic failures in our society that result in these cases we are proposing to inspire a humanitarian, compassionate, heart centred response. The £££ target is derived from a budget drawn up for renovating the downstairs space at the Greenhouse project into a community cafe (a project we entitled Y Gegin Gwyrdd - Green Kitchen - the idea being to use locally produced organic vegetables and ingredients to offer wholesome food on a not-for-profit basis). The Greenhouse is a company limited by guarentee (probably one of the earliest examples of a "community interest company"; the building is community owned, not for profit and has been running for community benefit for over 30 years), it has a board of directors with decades of experience in business, accounting and social and community work. Funds received through this campaign will be ringfenced and used solely for the development of a co-operative community enterprise dedicated to providing low-cost high nutrition sustainable food to our local community. In the short term (ie before the cafe renovation) we can begin to offer a community meal by cooking elsewhere and serving it on our premises.