WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) estimates that around 9.5 billion tonnes of UK food – with a value of over £19 billion – was wasted in 2018. This total arises from food manufacturing, retail, wholesale, hospitality, food service outlets and, of course, households … which waste around 16% of the weekly shop.
Matt’s Café, part of Matthew’s House (an initiative of The Hill Church charity), is a member of The Real Junk Food Project, which intercepts waste food and saves it from landfill. Determined to feed bellies not bins, the café provides meals on a pay-as-you-feel basis.
The aims of Matt’s Café are:
- To reduce food waste
- To feed those with or without funds
- To provide opportunities for those who are long-term unemployed
At Gower Power, we support good food getting to people on low incomes, while aspiring to change our economy so everyone can eat well. The philosophy behind Matt’s Café is that by sharing resources and avoiding waste, everyone can access what they need, with dignity and equality. That said, in the current circumstances the usual blend of people cannot use the café, and it is those in the most desperate situations who rely on it. A recent guest said, “What you guys have been doing is a lifesaver. I’m not kidding, this place has saved my life.”
During lockdown, Matthew’s House lead “Swansea Together”, a collaboration of community and statutory organisations working to keep everyone who is vulnerably housed in Swansea sheltered and fed. For four months, over 18,000 free, hot meals were delivered by armies of volunteers, and now Matthew’s House is operating an outdoor take-away. Unemployment has rocketed, and the Café is more needed than ever. On the day our £1,000 donation arrived, they provided meals to over 90 people in as many minutes.
Project Co-ordinator, Ellie Phillips says “We are heading into the toughest months of the year; with extra challenges we never could have anticipated. Support from Gower Power has been an incredible encouragement to our teams but also essential to keeping Matthew’s House going. To keep our doors closed and our community safe, we have lost out on a large amount of donations and fundraising this year. Thank you Gower Power for believing in us and recognising the work of our amazing volunteers.”
Our community benefit funds are created when people buy locally-produced, 100% green electricity or buy shares in local green projects. People who choose to invest and purchase differently, supporting local, ethical schemes, enable us to fund kindness in this crisis… and beyond.