Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts (EKFH) is a group of volunteers who have built a system for rescuing surplus food and transforming it into free, healthy meals for people in need.
It started as an idea between a small group of out-of-work chefs in the end of March 2020. Today it is an initiative staffed by 400+ volunteers who work 7 days a week to give everyone in Edinburgh safe access to healthy food. To date, Empty Kitchens has provided over 190,000 meals, totally free of charge without any government or corporate funding.
So how does it work?
We accept donations from generous local businesses, and rescue surplus food from supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste.
Our chefs perform magic and create tasty, healthy dishes.
Community volunteers work in shifts and package these meals into Day Packs for delivery.
A Day Pack contains enough food for one person for a day. It contains a breakfast, a lunch, a dinner and snacks. They are delivered straight to the doors of those who need them. We typically deliver 600 Day Packs per day, aided by community volunteers who drive, cycle and walk the Day Packs to their destinations.
£2 will feed a family of four for a day.
£10 will feed a family of four from Monday to Friday.
£30 will feed a family of four for 15 days.
£100 will keep 200 Edinburgh residents fed for a day.
£200 will keep 400 Edinburgh residents fed for a day.
We don’t means-test our clients, and operate on the trust that in Edinburgh in 2020 if someone is asking for help accessing food, that's all the 'proof' we need.
Although the majority of our food is donated and we're entirely run by volunteers, we incur costs from packaging for the 10,000+ meals we provide per week, PPE equipment for our volunteers, fuel to deliver 600+ meals per day and other operational costs.
Any money raised will go directly to funding the creation and delivery of meals to people in need.
So why are we fundraising?
We are committed to staying open as long as we are needed.
The need for our services increases at an alarming rate.
Food insecurity was an issue long before coronavirus. The pandemic has magnified it intensely. The primary contributor is loss of income. A wide range of households are now experiencing loss of income.
Food insecurity means that people cannot get the food they need, or that they have to eat less because they don't have money to buy food.
As we approach the winter, loss of income and economic instability mean that many more people will experience food insecurity. With increased electricity and heating bills, many households will be forced to make choices about what they can afford.
People have to decide between heating their house and feeding their families.
We are raising money so we can provide an increased number of Day Packs to a wider range of households.
Already this week we have seen a huge increase in demand for our services. Normally we serve 70 people at walk-in dinner. This week we have served more than 100 for four days in a row. Many of our clients are new.
If you or anyone you know in Edinburgh are struggling with safe access to food please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 07895 347157.
Additionally, we serve over 100 hot meals per day to walk-in guests.
We provide free hot lunch and dinner every day outside Leith Theatre
Address: 28-30 Ferry Road, EH6 4AE.