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Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts using surplus food to create healthy meals for those in need

We recently spoke with Emma, who is the Business And Marketing Director at Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts about the great work they are doing to help feed those in need whilst making great use of food donations.

“The initiative was started on the evening of the first UK lockdown when the founding director, Lewis, suddenly saw a synergy between three pressing concerns - food insecurity, food waste and the whole hospitality industry being classed as “unskilled” and closed overnight. 

The next day he called a few of his chef friends to start making soup for the local community, and nearly a year later we’ve provided over 630,000 meals to thousands of clients, and worked with over 800 volunteers.

In short, what we do is take surplus food and turn it into healthy meals, served free of charge and free of judgement. Stores and businesses donate their food waste to us, and then our brigade of volunteers turn it into ‘Day Packs’, containing breakfast/lunch/dinner plus bread and snacks. We then deliver them to those in need across Edinburgh. Our clients range from vulnerable people and those in financial crisis, to fully paid employees who, for one reason or another, are struggling to provide a full and healthy meal for their family. What makes us unique is not expecting people to jump through hoops, we believe that access to nutritious food is a basic human right, and if you’re swallowing your pride and asking for help in 2021 then that’s proof enough for us that you are truly in need.

The demand for our service continues to grow at an exponential rate, and 2021 will see us service 2 million meals. We’ve just secured our first permanent premises and been able to employ four members of staff, so our hopes for the next year are to be able to keep up with demand and meeting the needs of our clients. Once we have stronger foundations, we would love to be able to show other cities how effective our model is at tackling food waste and food poverty as we firmly believe that this is something that could be replicated everywhere.

I have used Appogee Leave for many years throughout my corporate life, so when we made the decision to take on employees it was the obvious choice. I love how easy everything is, the UX is so smooth and intuitive, and it’s great to be able to give employees the autonomy to manage their leave rather than have them navigate various HR and line managers. Our team have loved having a clear oversight of their leave, Appogee Leave is fuss free and allows them to put all of their energy into doing what they love - keeping Edinburgh fed.”

To try Appogee Leave for yourself for 14 days, follow this link.