This term is used to describe places offering food where some of the following are true:
- provide affordable food ie lower than commercial rates, sometimes free
- provide healthy food options
- use volunteers, some of whom may be volunteering to help themselves build confidence, skills, social connections etc
- offer training, formal or informal on cooking, shopping, budgeting etc
- promote social, local connections
- operate on a not-for-profit basis.
Research supports the numerous benefits that flow from having a flourishing community café in a neighbourhood, particularly in an area of social deprivation. Where community cafes can be run on a financially sustainable basis, they can become the hub from which other beneficial activities develop eg scaled up cooking classes, supported volunteering for people with special needs, buying groups etc.
Food Exeter is carrying out research into community food hubs and community cafes in the city. The work so far points to the vital importance of community cafes, however small in their operation, in reaching out to some of the most isolated, vulnerable and deprived people in the city.
Community cafés in Exeter
- Lunchbox Cafe Alphington
- Beacon Centre cafe
- Newcourt Community Centre cafe
- St Katherine’s Priory community centre cafe
- St Sidwells Community Centre cafe
- Wonford Community & Learning Centre
- Westbank Seedlings Cafe