“The Conversation” has an interesting article about an alternative to food banks – subsidised national kitchens. It describes the historic response to food poverty before and during World War 1 resulting in communal kitchens and then “national kitchens”. It is interesting to compare that history with what is happening today with charitable food banks and, of course, The Real Junk Food Project cafes. It strikes me that TRJFP fits the bill for a modern national kitchen with it’s aims of reducing food waste, reducing food poverty and building community. The Pay As You Feel concept hopefully removes the feeling of charity with people being able to “pay” for their meals with as little or as much money as they can afford or by volunteering in the cafe or local community (an associated Time Bank can help with this).
I can’t see the current politians helping to provide a modern day national kitchen but a grass roots movement of TRJFP and PAYF cafes could make a huge impact on food poverty as well as highlighting the crazy food waste problem and helping to rebuild that community spirit that everyone keeps going on about in this anniversary year.