Feed the local need with longer café hours

by Adrià Tarrida in Merstham, Surrey, England

We did it
On 30th March 2018 we successfully raised £20,217 with 135 supporters in 35 days

To extend The Merstham Mix opening hours and offer healthy and affordable meal options all day long on weekdays and on weekends too.

by Adrià Tarrida in Merstham, Surrey, England

New stretch target

Wow! Thanks for all of our generous donations! With the help of Santander Changemaker, we've reached £20,000!

We'll continue to raise funds until the 30th of March. The extra funds will help us be more ambitious with our cookery courses starting later this year, being able to offer them for longer and for free to vulnerable people. We'll focus on healthy eating on a budget, in line with the ethos of our lovely café. 

We will also be able to offer more sessions after school and on Saturdays.

Please help us spread the word!


Who are we?

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!


Why do we need more funding?

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.

What impact will the extra opening hours have?

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!

******

What's in it for you?

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'.


What are our guiding principles and impact so far?

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!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Now we're cooking!

- We'll send you a PDF of the cookery book that we've put together with the help of our friends at Salt Box, Loved and Enough, along with several local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

£30 or more

A reusable cup!

- An amazing reusable cup from Keep Cup with the café colours - We'll send you a pdf of the cooking book that we've put together with our friends at The Salt Box, Loved and Enough and several other local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

£50 or more

A reusable cup... and a goodie bag!

- We have partnered up with several local producers to bring you a tote bag filled with remarkable products - An amazing reusable cup from Keep Cup with the café colours - We'll send you a pdf of the cooking book that we've put together with our friends at The Salt Box, Loved and Enough and several other local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

£50 or more

Let's rock! Tickets for the 2018 New Music Fest!

- We have 5 pairs of tickets for the unforgettable New Music Fest, on the 23rd of June 2018 (face value $40). - An amazing reusable cup from Keep Cup with the café colours. - We'll send you a pdf of the cooking book that we've put together with our friends at The Salt Box, Loved and Enough and several other local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

£60 or more

8 of 20 claimed

Namaste! Ooooommm!

- Did you know our lovely front manager is also training to be a yoga teacher? With this reward, you'll be able to participate in 3 of her inaugural classes at the Merstham Hub. - An amazing reusable cup from Keep Cup with the café colours - We'll send you a pdf of the cooking book that we've put together with our friends at The Salt Box, Loved and Enough and several other local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

£60 or more

3 of 10 claimed

My daughter could be the next Margot Fonteyn...

- Our friends at the ballet classes in the Hub have offered 5 free lessons to the first 10 lucky people to claim this reward. - An amazing reusable cup from Keep Cup with the café colours - We'll send you a pdf of the cooking book that we've put together with our friends at The Salt Box, Loved and Enough and several other local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

£100 or more

5 of 20 claimed

Posh event at the café? I'm in!

- 2 tickets for a dinner at our café, face value £70! - An amazing reusable cup from Keep Cup with the café colours - We'll send you a pdf of the cooking book that we've put together with our friends at The Salt Box, Loved and Enough and several other local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

£350 or more

2 of 2 claimed

A special dinner at your place!

- A high-end dinner for you and 5 friends at your place. - An amazing reusable cup from Keep Cup with the café colours. - We'll send you a pdf of the cooking book that we've put together with our friends at The Salt Box, Loved and Enough and several other local chefs. - We'll also put your name on the Merstham Mix hall of fame.

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