Cook and Eat, a weekly social café for all at the Knaresborough Community Centre

Cook and Eat social is a weekly get together at the Knaresborough Community Centre.

  • Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm
  • Term-time only
  • Stockwell Avenue, Knaresborough, HG5 OLG

You can take home what you make or stay and eat together. The weekly menu is made up from donated food that would have otherwise gone to landfill.

They aim to help reduce isolation, increase confidence in social skills and build skills around, budgeting, planning and making meals.

This is part of a developing local scene that is about encouraging people to cook, to make use of food that may got to waste and to just be social.

Melisa Milner from Harrogate Borough Council, setup the scheme 12-months ago.

Melisa said:

Anyone can come along and it’s more than a café,  it’s a place where food can be re-used and redistributed.

We have support from many local shops, including, M&S, Morrisons, LIDL and Greggs. They all provide us with food that is past its best before date and would otherwise go to landfill.

The food donations are used in two ways, on a pay as you feel basis to take away or to cook with, while there.

Melisa Milner from Harrogate Borough Council
Melisa Milner from Harrogate Borough Council

Rebecca said:

I like cooking and getting involved.  I come here every week and help cook the meal.

Jeff has been going to the group since it opened.

Jeff said:

This is an excellent group and I can’t speak highly enough about them.

I have only lived here for 84-years and really enjoy coming here.

There’s also the Wednesday Evening chess club at the centre – anyone can come along!

Harrogate and Knaresborough has seen a movement in cafes reusing out of date produce from local retailers. Resurrected Bites opened a cafe from the St Mark’s Church on the Leeds road in Harrogate, and another more recently at Gracious Street Methodist Church in Knaresborough. A further café will open at West Park United Reformed Church in Harrogate.

Moving the food from the retailers to a number of organisations in the area that have demand for the food created some logistical challenges. With that in mind, Waste not Want was started 2-years ago by Colin Mannion as way of making things easier between retailers with food that is past its best before date.

Waste not Want works with and coordinates a number of partner organisations, such as Harrogate Homeless Project and Resurrected Bites, to collect and re-distribute in a fair way.

Around 90% of food waste happens at warehouse level. That can be food that doesn’t have sufficient shelf-life for a retailer to distribute to a store. Waste not Want will also be making that food available to partner organisations.


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