Be Enriched's Community Canteens bring people together using food and friendship. Our three Canteens are run by volunteers, who use surplus and locally sourced ingredients to cook fresh, healthy meals for residents. We offer the chance for people to meet others, learn skills, and gain confidence in the kitchen. All our Canteens are thriving hubs of activity, and everyone is welcome.
More than two million Londoners live below the poverty line. A third have skipped meals so their children can eat. The Cost of Living Crisis has created more challenges, as the effects of food insecurity grow. Stress and social isolation have increased. The Canteens project alleviates the difficulties associated with these issues, by providing a space where people can come together for food and friendship.
Everyone is welcome in our Community Canteens, to socialise and enjoy hot, nutritious food. Our Canteens are run by volunteers, equipping people with key skills, confidence, and a love of food. The canteens also provide a space for local issues to be discussed, and where community members can problem solve, share skills and experiences. No one should ever feel hungry or lonely, and our work seeks to alleviate the Cost of Living Crisis.
Choice, pride, and dignity are at the heart of everything we do. In 2022, we served over 3,000 meals across two canteens. The success of our Canteens in Tooting, Battersea and Elephant and Castle led to the opening of our fourth in Clapham at the start of 2023, where we have garnered the support of local community hubs, housing associations and local politicians. We plan to do even more to enrich communities in the future, increasing access to food and friendship.