The Food Co-op offers fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices to the local community, provides a lifeline for housebound older people using the centre and a place to shop, chat and meet.
Who runs the Food Co-op?
The Food Co-op has always been volunteer-led – it is an enterprise where friendships are built across diverse cultural and social backgrounds and an interest in food is a common passion. Volunteers receive valuable ‘on the job’ experience and placements. We offer free training opportunities for Food Co-op volunteers including short courses in – Food Safety Level 2, First Aid, Customer Service Skills, Job Search and educational trips to local farms.
Where does the Food Co-op food come from?
For our fresh fruit and veg we have two main suppliers ….
- Community Food Enterprise supply all our non-organic fruit & veg directly from New Covent Garden market every Thursday morning. They are an award winning social enterprise and food business rooted in East London, founded in 2002 by members of the community. www.c-f-e.org.uk
- Sarah Green’s Organics – supply all our Organic Vegetables delivered direct from the farm in Essex to the Food Co-op every week. A wide range of organic vegetables are available at the Food Co-op all year round. Organic farming means that the use of chemical to feed the crops or kill weeds and insects are kept to a minimum, and if any are used they are generally made from natural ingredients. This helps to maintain a habitat in which wildlife can thrive. Ploughing, planting, hoeing & harvesting is often done by hand & in all seasons & weathers! https://sarahgreensorganics.co.uk
We also stock regular supplies of dates, almonds, olive oil and maftoul from Zaytoun, a social enterprise founded to support Palestinian farmers through fair trade. Zaytoun supplies all the organically grown and fairly traded Palestinian fair-trade products available at St Hilda’s Food Co-op, which are sourced directly from small scale farmers and collectives. www.zaytoun.org
Suma supplies our small range of quality wholefoods offered at trade prices to food co-op customers. Suma is a workers’ co-operative – a radical business managed and owned by its workers. They are also the largest independent supplier of wholefoods in the UK. Bulk orders are available for Food Co-op customers on request. www.suma.coop
Healthy Living Events
The Food Co-op also offers regular Healthy Living events to create healthy living awareness and help combat health problems faced by the local community.
Recent Healthy Living events include a Vegetarian Sushi Workshop at Apple Day on the Gascoigne Estate, where over 30 local residents made close to 150 pieces of vegetarian sushi between them! Celia, the workshop facilitator said … “everyone seemed very happy to put most things into their sushi including spinach cooked with sesame oil and garlic, sesame seeds, herbs and whole range of raw veggies … people put in a really good selection.” Everyone took home a sushi recipe booklet and pack of ingredients to continue the fun! It was followed by a ‘Natural Beauty on a Budget’ workshop, where participants learned to make their own lip balm, body scrubs and hand cream from kitchen ingredients!
Drop in Advice Service
Alongside the Food Co-op we offer free one-to-one advice on welfare benefits, housing and homelessness, and advocacy on your behalf by phone or in writing. Drop-in on Thursday mornings 10am to 12pm and Thursday evenings 5pm to 7pm.
Visit St Hilda’s East Food Co-op – open every Thursday 11AM to 1PM and Thursday evenings 5PM to 7PM.
For more information, email Jenny or phone 020 7739 8066
Many thanks to City Bridge Trust who are supporting the Community Food and Advice Project.