Cracking The Crisis: A Covid Community Kitchen

by Cracking Good Food in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

£5,000

raised in 120 days

90

supporters

We are fundraising for a new community kitchen to cook up nourishing meals for people experiencing poverty and isolation due to Covid-19

by Cracking Good Food in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Help fund a Cracking Good Community Kitchen in Gorton, East Manchester! 

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Who we are

Cracking Good Food launched in 2010, with the aim of encouraging and supporting more people to cook affordable, seasonal, and nutritious homemade food from scratch.

Driven by our belief that EVERYONE deserves good food, our mission is simple: to work collaboratively with others to eradicate food poverty and increase food sustainability in Greater Manchester.  

We enthuse, encourage, and teach individuals and groups how to source and cook affordable, healthy, and tasty food from scratch, whilst minimising both food waste and our environmental impact.

We do this by delivering accessible and empowering cooking courses and training, as part of a wider campaign for affordable, sustainable & healthier food for all. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have produced & delivered over 61,000 wholesome, tasty meals which have been redistributed across Greater Manchester by 30 community groups to people experiencing homelessness, food poverty, social isolation, or ill-health as a result of Covid-19.  

Throughout all of our work, we strive to show by example that eating sustainably and seasonally is both possible and affordable.

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“Can I say on behalf of Reach Out to the Community we are so grateful for the meals that Cracking Good Food provides for us each week? You guys have been amazing and a massive help, we can’t thank you enough." 


Cracking the Crisis

As a result of the UK lockdown and ongoing pandemic, we have been unable to cook with the communities we serve. Many of the vulnerable groups we work with suddenly needed to self-isolate and there was little support available to them. So we Cracked on and Cooked! 

Cracking Good Food currently cook and distribute over 1400 nutritious meals each week to people living in poverty, insecurity, and isolation across Greater Manchester as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people's livelihoods have disappeared and people are going hungry. 

We provide emergency meals to: 

  • Older people
  • Families in food poverty
  • People experiencing mental or physical health problems
  • People experiencing homelessness, and those living in emergency accommodation without access to cooking facilities
  • Families affected by holiday hunger
  • Disabled veterans
  • Women and children fleeing abuse
  • People living in areas with limited access to fresh ingredients (known as 'food deserts')    

CGF cooks substantial, healthy, and nourishing meals with ingredients otherwise destined for landfill and distributes them to people at risk of hunger, malnutrition, and extreme isolation.

“The meals we have received are always welcome and last week’s meals went down great and the feedback was fantastic” (Rochdale Veterans) 

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We have now cooked and distributed over 65,000 meals and our 2 community kitchens are at full capacity, BUT the demand for this emergency food provision is increasing. 

“The coronavirus crisis has driven many more of my constituents into hardship, often forcing them to choose between eating or heating their homes. Organisations like Cracking Good Food are invaluable in ensuring those struggling do not go hungry and are supported during this difficult time. I am immensely proud of the community spirit we’ve seen displayed throughout this crisis, and I commend Cracking Good Food for all the amazing work they have done over the past ten months to support local people.” (Afzal Khan, Labour MP for Manchester, Gorton)

The Ask

Can you help us to fund our third community kitchen and meet the demand for this vital service? 

We identified space at The Churches Centre, for a community kitchen in Gorton. We have applied for small grants to help meet the running costs but we need your help to keep the kitchen running 2 days a week for at least 4 months. 

Why Gorton?

Gorton is an area which encompasses 2 of the 1.5% most deprived neighbourhoods in England; an area where more than 45% of households are reliant on benefits and 40% are in debt, and where many Black and Minority Ethnic communities live (who are known to be at significantly higher risk from Covid).

"The very fact that our usage has gone up from 80 to 120 is evidence that there is very much still a need in the current situation. It's great food, and I'm even tempted to have one myself sometimes, but there is never enough!" (Reverand Craig, St James Church, Gorton, November 2021) Since interviewing Rev. Craig the number of meals going to Gorton residents has now increased to 140 per week. 

We opened our Gorton Community Kitchen on 14th January 2021!

We work really hard to keep our overheads as low as possible, meaning that your donations go straight to helping us: 

  • Hire a suitable commercial kitchen registered with the Foods Standards Agency
  • Cover staff and volunteer expenses to cook and distribute a further 500 meals per week to communities in need of support. 
  • Buy our ingredients from FareShare and source other food saved from landfill 
  • Buy essential catering equipment and Covid-safe food packaging
  • Purchase enough high-quality PPE to keep our staff and volunteers safe

"Once again we would like to thank you for your help in making sure the men have decent meals each week." (Wilton Grange Men's Hostel)

Having secured the use of the University of Manchester's catering kitchen over the summer, we now operate two kitchens where our Cooking Leaders safely head up a team of very willing and wonderful cooking volunteers. They help us to safely and efficiently prepare, cook, portion, pack, and label hundreds of nutritious meals a day, ready for distribution to 30 communities across Manchester. A fleet of volunteers then collects and delivers them to individuals and community groups who then distribute them to their service users. 

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"I've never eaten food like this before. It's like eating at the Savoy!"  (Wythenshawe resident, 90 years young)

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues into the winter months, the need for our meals has increased as people are pushed further into poverty as a result of Covid - many people we provide meals for are experiencing this type of poverty for the first time. It has been heart-wrenching to see the effects of the pandemic on our communities, and we fear that the long term repercussions will be vast.

Cracking Good Food already has the skills, knowledge, staff, volunteers, and experience required to get cooking in a new community kitchen. All we need now are the funds! We would be so grateful for any support you can offer and will work hard to provide nourishment, warmth, kindness, and support for our communities going forward.   

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Thank you!

Let's make 'Cracking The Crisis: A Covid Community Kitchen' happen

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