There are plans to create 10 new Super Kitchens in Nottingham, making the city the UK’s first social eating city.

Nottingham City Council is working with the Super kitchen project to create community eating spaces and tackle food poverty using surplus supermarket produce.

Super Kitchen was established in 2014 in Sneinton and quickly grew from one social eating space to a network of 40 members by 2016. They aim to bring communities together to enjoy good food that would otherwise be wasted.

There are currently 20 operating in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and they focus on the values of community, social eating and combating food waste.  Their members currently serve around 1800 meals across Nottingham City each month, saving over 66 tonnes of good food from going to landfill each year.  Super Kitchens are open to everybody to come and socialise at mealtimes over an affordable dinner.

A recent report found that a surprisingly high number of people said they had never eaten a meal with a local community group or club, or even a neighbour. But this is set to change as Nottingham City Council launches its Year of Social Eating campaign with Super Kitchen to promote social eating activities across the City. These spaces not only provide affordable meals but promote social bonding which can determine how well and how long we live.

The ambition is to make Nottingham the UK’s 1st social eating city, and to support this the council want to make sure every day of the week, somewhere in the city, there will be a Super Kitchen meal available. The council ultimately want to put a Super Kitchen in every area of the City by the end of the year, plus each one will offer free meals for those in need via our Super Spoon, ‘pay it forward’ meal campaign, where people buy a meal for someone else instead of just donating money.

There are 10 areas proposed for new Super kitchens:

  • Aspley
  • Arboretum
  • Berridge
  • Bridge
  • Bilborough
  • Basford
  • Bestwood
  • Leen Valley
  • Mapperley
  • Wollaton

Councillor Corall Jenkins, Executive Assistant at Nottingham City Council, said: “Eating as part of a group can provide both physical and mental health benefits and improve wellbeing. Loneliness and isolation affects many members of our communities and social eating is an effective way to help to combat this. As well as the social and community side of Super Kitchens the scheme also supports our work to tackle food poverty.

“Research shows lack of proper nutrition affects people’s physical and mental health which in the long term causes huge pressures on health and social care costs so there’s an economic as well as a moral case for us to take preventative action by supporting schemes like Super Kitchens.”

The plans are due to be discussed by councillors at a Full Council meeting on Monday 16 January. Super Kitchen will then be showcasing their meals on offer at the Council House to volunteers and people who have been involved in the project.

Marsha Smith, who founded the original Super Kitchen, said: “We are delighted to be working with Nottingham City Council to become to first city of social eating. Super Kitchens are a great way of bringing communities together to socialise and enjoy an affordable meal while making the best use of surplus food from supermarkets.

“People from all walks of life are invited to go along, have a chat and enjoy a nutritious, healthy, low cost meal. Volunteers will make everyone feel very welcome.”