A new volunteer-led facility has opened in Chesterfield to tackle food poverty using surplus supermarket produce.
Gussie’s Kitchen, based at St Augustine’s Church, is Derbyshire’s third so-called Super Kitchen.
It uses surplus food – which is still in-date but could eventually end up being thrown away by supermarkets – to provide people with hot, nutricious and affordable meals.
Amanda Brassington, who uses Gussie’s Kitchen, praised the service.
The 45-year-old, of Baden Powell Road, said: “It’s a fantastic idea.
“It’s a really nice way of meeting other people and the food is great.
“My two boys, nine-year-old Thomas and 13-year-old Alex, also come with me and they’ve made new friends.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in Gussie’s Kitchen for offering such a brilliant service and I’d urge other people to use it.”
Councillor Dave Allen, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and communities, added: “We’re delighted to open our third Super Kitchen in Derbyshire.
“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.
“Everyone is invited to go along to Gussie’s Kitchen, have a chat and enjoy a nutritious, healthy, low-cost meal.
“Volunteers will make everyone feel very welcome.”
Coun Allen added: “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.”
Gussie’s Kitchen will be open at the church on St Augustine’s Road between 4pm and 6pm every Tuesday.
Meals cost £2.50 for adults, 50p for children aged five to 15 and free for under-fives.
The county council is supporting the scheme in partnership with charities FareShare and Eudaimonia.
It is also backed by Chesterfield Borough Council, Hope Bank Community Group in Chesterfield and St Augustine’s Church.
Super Kitchens started in Nottingham and are now being rolled out across Derbyshire with the first one opening in Holmgate Church, Clay Cross, in November last year.
The county council is spending £8,000 to set up two Super Kitchens in each Derbyshire borough and district in venues including churches, children’s centres and schools.
Council chiefs are keen to support more Super Kitchens opening across Derbyshire.
Groups, organisations or residents who are interested in starting one up can email firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at www.superkitchen.org
Residents can find out more about Gussie’s Kitchen by contacting county council public health development worker Fiona Unwin on 01629 537669 or emailing email@example.com