Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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The joys of food

August 01 2022
© FoodCycle © FoodCycle

Get to know FoodCycle, the community meal project providing visitors with a free meal and a friendly environment. By FoodCycle volunteer Emily Macauley Wilcox

I am a firm believer that there are three core things that make us human: community, laughter and sharing nourishing food. And every week, up and down the country in churches, community centres and schools, hundreds of people are coming together at FoodCycle meals to share in just that.

FoodCycle is a national charity that hosts over 50 community meals every week. Our volunteers create three-course meals for everyone and anyone to come and enjoy, free of charge. We’re here for everyone and many of our guests are experiencing or have experienced precarious housing and homelessness.

It’s been a long couple of years. We’ve seen on the news that loneliness is rifer than ever in the UK after the Covid-19 pandemic. We spent so much more time alone or away from our communities; we’ve seen at our meals that for those experiencing precarious housing or homelessness during the pandemic, it was even harder. This is having a long-term impact on mental health and wellbeing, especially if you're still going through hard times financially or with your health.

FoodCycle provides free, nutritious meals in a community environment.

They currently serve food in 55 locations across England and Wales. Each location typically serves food once a week.

  • For locations and times of FoodCycle community meals, visit the website:
  • Alternatively, phone FoodCycle to find your nearest meal on
    020 7729 2775 or email FoodCycle at
  • See the List for more info on where to find food.

Here at FoodCycle, we recognise that the pandemic has been bitterly isolating. Joining us for a couple of hours a week offers friendly faces and a laugh to lift the spirits.

When we were able to re-start our community meals after months of takeaways during the pandemic, a guest said “I feel like I am ready to start living again.” And that’s exactly why we exist.

It’s not just about the chatter and laughs, though. We promise that you’ll have a lovely meal, too.

Fruit and veg is expensive and hard to prepare if you don’t have access to a kitchen, so we’re here to help everyone access nutritional food.

Our volunteers create three-course menus, changing every week based on what veggies and fruits were donated. We pack our meals full of goodness – so you’ll get your five-aday when you eat with us, that’s for sure. Some of my favourite FoodCycle dishes have been borsch (a beautiful bright pink, Eastern European vegetable soup with an optional dollop of crème fraiche), sweet and sour stir fry noodles and a mango upside-down cake. If that’s not good grub, I don’t know what is!

Reflecting on my time at FoodCycle, one thing is clear: people are, and always will be, at the heart of what we do. I’ve had the opportunity to meet, cook, serve and share with so many wonderful people from all walks of life at our meals: an East End lad who shares wonderful facts about 1800s London, the sweetest lady who joins us every week and will happily share her divine lemon drizzle cake recipe with anyone who asks, volunteers from all four corners of the globe who bring their treasured family recipes along to cook and share with our guests. This is what makes what we do special.

We care deeply for each and every one of our guests and volunteers, whether it’s your first or 400th meal at FoodCycle, we’re glad you came. We see you, we value you and we can’t wait to share a lovely meal with you!