Monday, 14 February 2022
A flagship community hub and kitchen in the heart of London’s Shepherd’s Bush, aiming to tackle food insecurity and waste, was officially opened on Thursday 10 February 2022 by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
Located on the Edward Woods Estate in the heart of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, the ‘Nourish Hub’ is centred around a community kitchen that provides healthy, nutritious meals to both paying customers and those who need financial assistance. The innovative ‘donate as you dine’ concept promotes social inclusion by offering people the option to pay only what they can afford. It brings together those from a range of backgrounds, alongside volunteers, to combat food insecurity, provide a social hub and connect those in need to vital support and welfare services.
Pre-pandemic, around 700,000 UK households used a food bank, while data from the Trust for London found that almost one third (31 per cent) of residents living in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham were living in poverty in 2020.
National food rescue and education charity UKHarvest is behind the Nourish Hub in partnership with Hammersmith & Fulham Council. The project was supported by £2.3million from the Council, part of its ‘Nourish Project’ to end food poverty and tackle the climate emergency in Hammersmith & Fulham, alongside £1.1million from The Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.
A royal welcome
The opening ceremony welcomed HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for a tour of the facility, bringing together members of the community, representatives of UKHarvest and partners including Hammersmith & Fulham Council and global property company Goodman, the charity’s Founding Partner in the UK.
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, said during the opening:
“I'd like to congratulate everyone who is part of this, I think you've done a brilliant job. The minute you walk in here you get a lovely uplifting, cheerful feeling. What you're doing is bringing people together and getting people talking over food. You can’t think of many better combinations - so many congratulations to you all."
UKHarvest is one of the UK’s fastest growing food rescue operations, taking quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it to charities free of charge – all while teaching people about food waste, food inequality and the importance of a healthy diet. In 2021, it supported 350 charities across the UK and delivered 149 education programmes for almost 10,000 participants.
Yvonne Thomson, CEO of UKHarvest, commented:
“Nobody should have to live in food poverty, yet the pandemic has only exacerbated the issue across the country.
“We hope that the Nourish Hub, which uses food as a medium to tackle social isolation and loneliness, will help to ease some of that pressure, improve people’s quality of life and ensure that all residents have access to a healthy, nutritious meal, regardless of income.
“UKHarvest sees education as the answer to tackling food waste and making positive lifestyle changes. We hope that the opportunities for people to come together to learn about low-cost, nutritious eating choices at our Nourish Hub will help to empower people in the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
“We’re proud to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to officially open our doors and look forward to realising our vision to create a vibrant Hub and vital support network for the community of Hammersmith & Fulham.”
Councillor Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to Hammersmith & Fulham and particularly to the wonderful Nourish Hub.
"Run by our amazing partners at UKHarvest, it is part of the Council’s £2.3million investment in the Nourish Project which, along with support to local food banks and our free primary school breakfast scheme, forms an important part of the Council’s strategy to end food poverty in the borough. The Nourish Hub is a simple but effective idea, tackling hunger, isolation and the unnecessary waste of food, and human potential.
"It offers people new opportunities to come together to cook, eat and learn about how to eat more healthily, as well as the chance to volunteer and share their skills which forms a part of our goal to strengthen civic life. I’m grateful to all the people who work, volunteer, or simply enjoy the Nourish Hub and the Nourish Project."
Making a tangible difference – Founding Partner, Goodman Foundation
The launch of the Nourish Hub builds on UKHarvest’s growth over recent years. In 2020, to help meet the increased demand for its services, the charity was supported by Founding Partner - global property company Goodman, with a new warehouse in Chichester, enabling it to efficiently rescue and redistribute around 75,500 meals a week from a new central warehouse and distribution space. This is in addition to its initial and ongoing financial support of UKHarvest.
James Cornell, CFO of Goodman UK and Treasurer of UKHarvest, said:
“The Goodman Foundation is committed to addressing disadvantage and making a tangible difference to the lives of the people in the communities we serve. That’s why we partner with like-minded local organisations like UKHarvest to support initiatives that have clearly defined outcomes and in doing so, provide real assistance where it is needed most.
“Since its launch in 2017, we have supported UKHarvest in providing essential services to the community and to people experiencing food insecurity. The charity’s work perfectly aligns with the Goodman Foundation’s values, while meeting sustainability goals including reducing waste and carbon emissions. We are proud to support UKHarvest as Founding Partner, in its crucial mission to fight food poverty and tackle the climate emergency.”
RCKa architects was appointed by UKHarvest and Hammersmith & Fulham Council to develop the design of the Hub, working closely with the community and key stakeholders, while Inner Circle Consulting advised on project development, community engagement and co-design, commissioning and construction.
For more information, please visit: https://www.ukharvest.org.uk/education/nourishhub