Local Food Economy

“Pay What You Can” community café coming to Bristol

By Lisa Furness 

Lisa Furness from The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft introduces the new community café from the Stokes Croft Food Project. Thanks to the generosity of the people who have supported their ongoing crowdfunding campaign as well as help from the Bristol Food Union, the project is delighted to announce the opening of the new “Pay What You Can” café. 

The Stokes Croft Food Project community café will open today (Monday 27th July) at Jamaica Street Stores, 37-39 Jamaica Street, BS2 8JP. There are very few affordable community eateries in Stokes Croft, despite a large local homeless population and many low income families living in a small area. This is a neighbourhood where the local food provision is inaccessible to the majority of local people.

We anticipate a steep rise in homelessness and food poverty across the city this summer as we see the “everyone in” policy, the furlough scheme and the moratorium on evictions all come to an end.

Set up by local business, charities and campaigners the Stokes Croft Food Project is a collective effort by local businesses and volunteers to produce and distribute cooked food packages in the community. Read more about their work on this blog. We will continue our work of distributing free food to the hungry on Tuesdays and Sundays, but we will also be offering lunch to the whole community from 12-2pm, Monday to Friday.

© Colin Moody (lead image also © Colin Moody)

We have chosen the “Pay What You Can” model to allow us to continue providing mouth-watering and nutritious meals to the economically vulnerable, while expanding our offer in an inclusive and sustainable way. This project builds on the mutual aid principle that has allowed so many people in Bristol to make it through the pandemic. We don’t need top down charity to “help the needy”- we need strong, well fed and resilient communities that support one another.

COVID-19 precautions mean this will start as a take-away service, but our long-term vision is to develop this café into a shared eating space where everyone can sit and eat together. A space to provide the kind of affordable community hub that Stokes Croft really needs. We will also make an area of the café available as a food bank where people can donate or request groceries.

Can you spare some time? We are a volunteer-run project, and we always need more volunteers.
Please email stokescroftfoodproject@gmail.com if you want to join our volunteer team.

Can you spare some cash? Please support our fundraiser to cover the core cafe costs.

Are you hungry? Come down, get some lunch.

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So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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