RKW at Hope St Mellons

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been trialling our Redistribution Kitchen Wales project at the Cardiff and Vale College City Centre Campus. The RKW project was funded as part of The Sustainable Food Challenge, a partnership between Cardiff Council, Monmouthshire County Council, the Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund, and Welsh Government, supported by the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Centre of Excellence. It aims to identify and support projects that can harness the potential of land, technology, and people to increase the sustainable production and supply of locally grown food in the Cardiff Capital Region. 

The aim of the RKW project is to make use of harder to use surplus ingredients and use them to make nutritious and accessible meals for communities across South Wales. The trial started with 10 of the charities and community groups already supported by FareShare Cymru and has since expanded to support up to 20 local organisations. Since January, 4235 meals have been prepared and distributed by our team of chefs and kitchen volunteers. 

A wide range of food is provided either by FareShare Cymru, other donations, or is grown at the community centre; the centre has an outside garden space, where the community can grow their own fruit, vegetables, and herbs to add to the stock they distribute to those who need it.  

The project has been very popular with the pantry members, having spoken to some of their regular attendees. 

“I picked the meals because they’re really nutritious. They’re really easy, so I can just pop them in the microwave and I can just eat it from the pot. It’s awesome” 

 “I found them handy because I have children. And I’ve found it good because my health is up and down. So I find that when I’m not feeling great or don’t have the energy to cook, I find it good for that”. 

The variety was also highly praised, with favourite dishes including the vegetable curry and pasta bakes. 

The pantry is only a small part of what Hope St Mellons offers for the people in the community. They host many different clubs, such as gardening and craft club, and hold free 1-1 sessions with financial advisors. They also have a bike repair shop that offers drop-in sessions for advice and assistance in repairs, empowering local people to tackle the problem themselves in the future. 

“As a community, we’re growing, we’re thriving. It’s very much what we need in the area.”

The meals provided through the RKW project continue to prove successful amongst those who use the pantry. They look forward to the future of RKW and what the next phase has in store!