Carlisle Food Initiative

VISION: “Using surplus and donated food and support activities to meet the needs of our community”

What’s it all about?

Carlisle Food Initiative (CaFI) has arisen from the drive and enthusiasm of a number of key individuals involved in the work of Carlisle Foodbank. Our vision is to work in partnership to develop a physical space which can be used for the collection, storage and redistribution of surplus food waste of all kinds from the local area and to convert this food into something used to the benefit of the local people either through cooking, selling or redistributing.

This would include the continued operation of the Carlisle Foodbank and would create alongside it an exciting and longer term response to issues of deprivation and food poverty, engaging local people and local partners in a range of initiatives.

We want to:

address issues of food waste, healthier eating and food poverty

We want to:

  • Inspire people to become healthier, happier and more aspirational.
  • Prevent good food going to waste and utilise volunteers and local people to meet the needs of the local community by cooking and selling it
  • Bring together into an integrated space the needs and priorities of a range of partners.
  • Create a sustainable long term response to city-wide food poverty

Who’s involved?

We have a wide range of partners and people interested in what we want to do.

Surplus food donations: We are currently getting donations from Marks and Spencer, Greggs, Pioneer and Morrisons

Partners working alongside us:

Cumbria Gateway

Sustainable Carlisle

Mental Health support organisations.

What’s the plan?

In addition to the existing Foodbank we want to provide:

A Community Café – to cook and serve food sourced from local surplus or waste and local producers. Aimed at local people and sold at affordable prices with a further aim of inspiring people to eat and cook more healthily. Volunteers will be recruited from a target group to work at the café, gaining valuable work experience to increase their life choices. This would include a breakfast club for people with addiction problems.

A Community Shop/Supermarket – where surplus food can be sold to members/users at cost making stretched household budgets go further and also reducing landfill and food waste.

A Community Support Centre – where we will run relevant life skills courses to increase engagement and opportunities for disadvantaged or unemployed people from the local community. We will also provide additional advice and support services as needed by users of the facilities.

We have funding for a pilot year of activities in 2016 during which time we hope to develop strengthened partnerships and increased awareness of the positive value and benefits of our plans.

Working with us

If you think you have something to offer the work of Carlisle Food Initiative (CaFI) please get in touch by emailing:

Interesting information

Our Operational Plan   carlisle-foodbank-operational-plan-final-feb-2016

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Useful links 

Feeding Britain