FoodCycle located at Langworthy Cornerstone have launched a new cook and collect service to ensure families will not go hungry during the pandemic. 

Before the coronavirus outbreak, FoodCycle Langworthy was offering free community meals for people in Salford using surplus food from local supermarkets.

The three-course meal aims to feed families who may be struggling financially and to also cut down on the amount of food wastage.


However, the free meals had to stop due to lockdown. The new cook and collect service means that volunteers are back in the kitchen preparing nutritious meals for families.

Ian Winstanley, Regional Manager for FoodCycle North West said: “It’s our second week back at Langworthy, we started cooking again but we’re still not able to have people sit down just because there’s not enough space.

“At the moment it’s takeaway only, we’re cooking up meals and we’ve got a very small team compared to what we used to have just to keep social distance in the kitchen.”

Before coronavirus, FoodCycle would use food from local supermarkets however they are now working with an organisation called The Bread and Butter Thing based in Greater Manchester who supply the food.

Image: Ian Winstanley, Regional Manager
Credit: Lucy Matthews

Mr Winstanley explained how the pandemic has affected FoodCycle. He said: “We as an organisation, we’ve had to change from one thing to another very quickly.”

At the community meal, anyone could attend and therefore no contact details were kept. This meant that FoodCycle were unable to tell people about the food parcel or their cook and collect service.

With less people allowed in the kitchens, the pandemic has also been difficult for the volunteers.

Winstanley described: “In terms of volunteers, it’s been difficult because our two Salford projects and our Manchester project, all three venues were totally shut to any activities like FoodCycle.

“A lot of our existing volunteers haven’t been able to volunteer with us for nine months.”

Image: FoodCycle volunteers cooking
Credit: Lucy Matthews

The new cook and collect service is Covid secure. Only three guests at one time are allowed inside, where they must queue socially distanced for their food.

There is a one-in-one-out system and contact details are taken for NHS track and trace.

It is hoped that more people will turn up to the new cook and collect service. The regional manager explained that this is a hard time for many people and once they know FoodCycle is still on hand to help, they’ll be sure to turn up.

Image: FoodCycle’s stock of food
Credit: Lucy Matthews

Not only does FoodCycle provide free meals, but it also provides social interaction for many. Their service, check-in and chat, allows trained volunteers to have a chat with people once a week.

FoodCycle meals are vegetarian to ensure it is accessible to everyone. Tonight, there was plenty of vegetables which were used to make a pasta dish.

In the future, the team at FoodCycle hope to eventually welcome people back to the free community meal when it is safe to do so. Mr Winstanley concluded by saying: “Get back to what we do best.”

The takeaway service is available every Tuesday from 19:00 to 20:00 at Langworthy Cornerstone. They will be closed on the week before and after Christmas.

For more information, please visit FoodCycle Langworthy on Facebook.


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