The Merstham Mix is a new kind of café aiming to bring together the local community for low-cost, healthy food in a sociable space while doing something proactive to address the problem of food waste.
Launched by two local charities (Loveworks and MCFT) and a group of local residents, the café opened in mid-November. The café has already become a popular meeting place for the local community, but we want to increase our impact!
With the money raised during this crowdfunding campaign, we'd like to extend our opening hours. At the moment, we can only afford to open from 8:30 am to 2 pm on weekdays and with a reduced service on Saturday mornings.
We'd love to stay open until 6 pm every weekday and offer a full menu on Saturday. This would enable families with school-age children to come to the café after school, which is not possible at the moment. With our funding, we could employ more staff and make this happen.
Extending the opening hours will allow us to:
- Feed kids (& their families!) after school
- Provide free meals to people in need
- Support after-school activities in the hub
- In the future, teach cookery skills to kids and adults
- Use double the amount of perfectly edible food that would otherwise go to waste
- Create more paid positions and double the volunteering opportunities
***** Update 8/3/2018 *****
We've been working on our plans to extend the hours and what it means for our cookery courses! If we reach our objective, from April to September 2018 we will:
- Serve additional 2,300 healthy and nutritious meals
- Offer 16 courses reaching at least 130 people
- Create 20 new volunteer opportunities
Exciting, isn't it? And this is just the beginning. We'll be working soon on our plans after September. Watch this space!
In return for your generous donations, you will be able to choose from some amazing rewards. They include a recipe book from some amazing local chefs, a reusable cup from Keep Cup, activities in the hub and even parties! And, whatever the level of your contribution, your name will be on our 'wall of fame'.
Since opening The Merstham Mix in November 2017, we have been able to offer our local community the following:
- Affordable menu: A full menu, available at a fair price for all, plus a hot and wholesome ‘Merstham Mix Daily Special’ that’s extra affordable & free for food bank users. So far we have provided over 500 of these meals at a minimum donation of just £2!
- Reducing local food waste: Using a proportion of food that’s perfectly edible but would otherwise go to waste, from sources such as local supermarkets. So far we have recovered over 750 kg!
- Wholesome and healthy: Serving a balanced & nutritious menu. Further down the line, we aim to open a cookery skills hub to help people to cook healthy food from scratch.
- Warmest of welcomes: Everyone who walks through the door is made to feel at home in the café. We pride ourselves on our warm, friendly and uplifting vibe. People who use the café include mums and babies, disabled, blind people, people from social housing projects, care homes, kids on school holidays, toddlers. For some of our regulars, it's a lifeline. Our youngest guest so far is 3 days and oldest guest 103 years!
- Heart of the Hub: We’re in the brand new Portland Drive hub alongside the library, preschool, YMCA services, activity rooms (with a full programme of events) & IT access.
With your generous contribution, we will be able to extend our offer and impact more people. Thanks for your help!