Growing Communities, Hackney
The Saturday market attracts organic and biodynamic farmers, including Hook & Son and the Better Health Bakery, while the weekly borough-wide veg-bag scheme has a big range of options starting from under a fiver.
St Paul’s Church, N16 7UY; growingcommunities.org
Stem + Glory, Barbican
This vegan restaurant crowdfunded £600k to open in the City of London, with the goal of spreading their take on ethical eating.
60 Bartholomew Close, EC1A 7BF; 0203 9699392; stemandglory.uk
Bags of Taste, Hackney
A community enterprise that uses a “menu box” approach to help people on a budget. Everyone is welcome at free cooking classes, and can then buy a £3 bag of ingredients, enough to cook the dish at home for four people. Runs in several London boroughs, and elsewhere in the UK, including Hastings and Sheffield.
Various locations; bagsoftaste.org
Stem + Glory, Cambridge
The original branch of this vegan restaurant, working towards a more ethical food world.
13 King St, CB1 1LH; 01223 314331; stemandglory.uk
Fighting waste and poverty, FoodCycle rescues perfectly good surplus stock from shops and markets and three times a week cooks it into meals, available by donation. Also in Arbury and Barnwell.
Wesley Methodist Church, Christ Pieces, CB1 1LG; @FoodCycleCamb
The Calf at Foot Dairy, Somerleyton
A collection or delivery service for milk and meat from a dual-purpose herd. Unusually, here the steers are allowed to stay with the cows until they’re weaned at about 10 months and then kept until 24 months.
Home Farm, Suffolk, NR32 5PR; the-calf-at-foot-dairy.co.uk
Real Junk Food Project, Birmingham
Works with supermarkets, shops and restaurants to take good food otherwise headed for the bins and turns it into 200 meals a week, available for whatever diners across the city can afford. There’s also a wait-listed “freegan” box scheme.
Various locations around the city; trjfpbrum.com
Since 2015, Zoe Harrison has been making seed and nut spreads (tiger nut and cashew; pumpkin seed) and selling them online and at festivals. Made with an eye to environmental impact, they’re vegan, palm-oil free, and sold in recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
01952 884 442; butterbelle.co.uk
Small Food Bakery, Nottingham
Small-scale slow and with love works best for these bakers – and, they think, a more fair food economy. Breads and pastries are slow-fermented for flavour and nutrition.
33 Seely Rd, NG7; smallfoodbakery.com
Life Kitchen at Lodge, Sunderland
Ryan Riley wants to give cancer patients back their appetite – and some enjoyment along the way. His sympathetic and therapeutic cooking classes for those undergoing treatment saw him crowned last year’s overall winner in this category.
Toward Rd, SR2 8DP; 0191 514 4840; lifekitchen.co.uk
Real Junk Food Project aka Food Revival, Leeds
Diverting food from waste, Food Revival runs a market hall, plus school holiday relief, pay-as-you-feel cafes, food boxes and catering across the city.
Grangefield Industrial Estate, Unit 3, Pudsey LS28 6LF; 0113 256 5614; foodrevival.co.uk
Unicorn Grocery, Chorlton
This welcoming community shop and worker’s co-op is run to shared values, rather than profit, including ethical sourcing, fair tax, carbon offsetting and urban greening on their ‘living roof’.
89 Albany Rd, M21 0BN; 0161 861 0010; unicorn-grocery.coop
Community Fridge, Chesham
The Fridge wants to make sure food is eaten not binned. Shops and other food business donate stock to them and they pass it on to anyone, of any income, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, no referrals needed.
Broadway Baptist Church Rear Yard, The Broadway, HP5 1EG; cheshamcommunityfridge.org
Real Junk Food Project, Brighton
Whether you can afford to make a donation for your lunch or not, everyone is equal in getting fed at TRJFP Brighton. The lunches that serve up to 200 people each sitting are from food otherwise headed for the bin.
One Church, 21 Gloucester Pl, BN1 4AA, plus other locations; facebook.com/realjunkfoodbrighton
Cafe Thrive, Southampton
At this vegan cafe, a crowd-pleasing menu takes inspiration from US diners: sundaes have non-dairy ice-cream; there are tempeh rashers in the TLT sandwich; and crispy seitan takes the place of chicken with waffles. Most mains hover around £6, with nothing over £8.50.
18 Hanover Buildings, SO14 1JX; 02380 338708; cafethrive.co.uk
Riverford works with farms around the country (and selected international growers) to deliver boxes of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables to more than 45,000 homes across the UK.
Wash Farm, TQ11 0JU; 01803 227391; riverford.co.uk
Food in Community, South Devon
Feeding the community – for free or by donation – by redistributing surplus fresh food, holding cookery workshops, and running a monthly cafe.
various locations in Totnes and Newton Abbot; 07702 727009; facebook.com/FoodinCommunityCIC
Boston Tea Party, Bristol
A mini-chain with a major mission: make things better. Since introducing its single-use cup ban last year, BTP says it has stopped more than 200,000 cups going to landfill.
Six locations around Bristol; bostonteaparty.co.uk
This social enterprise wants to build a community food system that’s better for the environment and economy. This means farm sites growing produce for their veg box scheme (and a useful online gallery to help identify any strange-looking inclusions), plus cafe.
349 Victoria Rd, G42 7SA; 0141 328 3303; glasgowlocavore.org
Social Bite, Edinburgh
In 2012, a sandwich shop decided to funnel all its profits into good causes. In 2015, it decided it wanted to help end homelessness in Scotland. Social Bite has five cafes and one restaurant in three cities, distributes food to people in need, hosts social meal events, offers training, and employs people affected by homelessness.
131 Rose St, EH2 3DT; 0131 353 0250; social-bite.co.uk
Whitmuir the Organic Place, nr West Linton
A farm with farm shop and online retail attached. Food is certified organic, foraged, or regeneratively sourced from the wild.
Whitmuir Farm, Lamancha, EH46 7BB; 01968 661908; whitmuir.scot
The Warren, Carmarthen
A friendly, family-run cafe, started with help of a local Crowdfounder. Organic-led menu from local suppliers and a focus on the Carmarthen community.
11 Mansel St, SA31 1PX; 01267 236079; warrenmanselst.co.uk
Schools’ breakfast programmes, community centres and homeless associations were just some of the recipients of the 950,000 meals last year that FareShare Cymru made – all from surplus food.
Unit S5, Capital Business Park, CF3 2PU; 029 2036 2111; facebook.com/FareShareCymru
Paternoster Farm, Pembroke
At their catering events, beach trailer, and food hall-cum-restaurant Y Gegin, they use only the meat they raise themselves, including Mangalitza pigs and Highland cows.
Broughgammon Farm, Ballycastle
Started in 2011 as way to raise and turn a profit from male kids not needed by the goat milk industry, this has evolved into a picturesque Co Antrim farm that also raises ethical veal, and hosts foraging and butchery classes.
50 Straid Rd, BT54 6NP; 07976 270465; broughgammon.com
Providing food producers with an ethical solution to waste disposal and charities with much needed supplies, FareShare Northern Ireland also provides work experience and training in the food industry to volunteers.
Unit 3, Building 14, Central Park Industrial Estate, Mallusk Rd, BT36 4FS; 028 9033 2230; facebook.com/FareShareNI
South Belfast Food Bank/Mornington Community Project
Volunteers at Trussell Trust-seeded food bank collect donations from the public (and supermarkets) and compile the weekly lists of what’s needed, and then distribute it with a smile, and often a cup of tea, to those who need it.
117 Ormeau Rd, BT7 1SH; 07743 332489; facebook.com/Southbelfastfoodbank