FoodCycle, the charity that aims to make food poverty, loneliness and food waste a thing of the past for every community, is in urgent need of volunteers as it opens its second Project in Cardiff. This marks FoodCycle’s forth Project opening in Wales in 18 months, reflecting the need for vital services to help those gripped by the cost-of-living crisis.  The new site opened on 27th March at Dusty Forge,  ACE – Action in Caerau & Ely on Cowbridge Road, the weekly free meal will provide great food and conversation every Monday at 6.30pm for anyone who wants to come along. 

FoodCycle Wales Regional Manager, Suzanne Waring says: “We are thrilled to be opening our forth Project in Wales and second in the city, introducing FoodCycle to Cardiff’s Ely community. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit people hard across the country and with recent news of decreased food supplies and increased energy bills, our service is more vital than ever. We look forward to providing a warm space, a nutritious, three-course meal and friendly conversation to anyone in the community who needs it, no questions asked.” 

FoodCycle recently released a research report highlighting how ‘community dining’ is the answer to tackling loneliness and food insecurity.  Written by social eating and community food systems expert, Dr Marsha Smith of Coventry University and supported by a survey of 2,000 people*. The survey found that near to 2 in 3 agree that not enough is being done by local councils to promote community dining projects.  It also highlighted that we are a nation of solo diners, with 24% saying that they eat alone every day of the week, yet, one in two believe mental health is benefited by eating together. In terms of hurdles to finding social connection, it found that 96% of the population have not heard of community dining projects but near to one in two would attend if one was available in their area.  

FoodCycle Needs You 

FoodCycle Cardiff Ely is looking to recruit new volunteers and Project Leaders. Flexible volunteer roles without a minimum time commitment are open to anyone and include food collection, surplus food coordinators, cooking, hosting and running Projects.  

Serving up free weekly community meals using food that would otherwise have gone to waste, FoodCycle is a vital service that relies on its volunteers to provide nutritious food and conversation across the UK. 

Paul, FoodCycle Volunteer says; “Because of FoodCycle, I’ve found I enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen environment and it’s something I’d love to do as proper paid work. Being at FoodCycle every week helps to show that I am reliable, can work with other people and that I am committed, so it’s really changed things for me. We have a natter and a laugh, and I like the teamwork and the people. We eat good food and catch up on what we’ve been doing in the week. Everyone is very kind and very inclusive. 

FoodCycle’s free community meals are open to all, and guests range from low-income families, people affected by homelessness and those who cannot afford to buy food.  No questions asked, you can just turn up and take a seat. Without volunteers, FoodCycle cannot provide a vital service to the community who have come to rely on the chance to sit down to a free, three-course meal every week.  

The free weekly meal at FoodCycle Cardiff Ely will take place every Monday from 6.30pm at:

Dusty Forge (ACE – Action in Caerau & Ely) 460 Cowbridge Road, Cardiff, CF5 5BZ