Up to 40 people per day visit free soup kitchen in Bolton town centre

Up to 40 people per day visit free soup kitchen in Bolton town centre

The soup kitchen in Churchgate, Bolton

A visitor tucks into the soup

Alan Brown with volunteers, from left, Elisabeth Shepherd, Ray Willshire, Sitana Abdel Karim and Amal Mansoul

Volunteer Ray Willshire entertains with his guitar

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A COMMUNITY group is digging in to tackle food waste and help people in need by running a soup kitchen.

Bolton Diggers, which was set up by Alan Brown, opened the kitchen in Churchgate earlier this year.

The not-for-profit kitchen, run by volunteers, uses food which would otherwise be thrown away, vegetables from community gardens, and food from supermarkets which is out-of-date but still usable, in its soups.

It also receives donations from corner shops and food stores.

The kitchen is made up of seven volunteers, most of whom have worked on similar projects before.

Mr Brown, from Westhoughton, is pleased with the kitchen’s success to date.

He said: “The customers love it — it has been really good so far and the soups are very nice. We are only open for an hour and a half but on a good day we can get 40 people through the door.

“The thrust of what we are trying to do is generate economic activity. We are trying to make a point about waste and about food poverty.

“We want to tackle the failings of the food system and make sure food doesn’t get thrown away.”

A similar scheme has been set up in Leeds entitled The Real Junk Food Project, a cost-free concept which relies on charitable donations of waste food produce to feed people in need.

Mr Brown said: “The Real Junk Food Project is something I take a lot of inspiration from — I want my project to become a social enterprise. The whole thing is experimental and we are quite open with how we want to develop it.”

Mr Brown will have a meeting with Waitrose representatives to discuss the donation of items from the supermarket.

The soup kitchen is open from 11.30am until 1pm every Friday.

Comments (22)

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9:26am Mon 12 May 14

underwater says...

Dare say a lot of people come out after having free soup and light a fag , make a couple of calls on there top of the range mobile phones Sorry but soup kitchens and food banks are not needed if people get there priorities right.
Dare say a lot of people come out after having free soup and light a fag , make a couple of calls on there top of the range mobile phones Sorry but soup kitchens and food banks are not needed if people get there priorities right. underwater
  • Score: -2

9:31am Mon 12 May 14

Jim271 says...

Lots of people who use these foodbanks and soup kitchens are alcoholics and drug addicts,

Unfortunately its cheaper to let them carry on with their addictions and die young rather than using the available medical treatment available to actually help them. sad but true.
Lots of people who use these foodbanks and soup kitchens are alcoholics and drug addicts, Unfortunately its cheaper to let them carry on with their addictions and die young rather than using the available medical treatment available to actually help them. sad but true. Jim271
  • Score: 13

9:46am Mon 12 May 14

lancashiregirl says...

I agree with underwater
I agree with underwater lancashiregirl
  • Score: -9

10:26am Mon 12 May 14

hal pel says...

92% not in favour of soup kitchens! Well done you lot, you've finally taken over the asylum.
92% not in favour of soup kitchens! Well done you lot, you've finally taken over the asylum. hal pel
  • Score: 18

11:37am Mon 12 May 14

eatmytruth says...

Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.
Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can. eatmytruth
  • Score: 9

12:10pm Mon 12 May 14

Susan Wardle says...

This is a fantastic project. Too bad people are so upset with the idea of anyone getting "something for nothing" that they fail to notice the cafe is using food that would otherwise be thrown away, and is run by volunteers. Bolton never used to be so mean spirited-it's sad. Best wishes to the people behind this venture, your work is invaluable in these very difficult times.
This is a fantastic project. Too bad people are so upset with the idea of anyone getting "something for nothing" that they fail to notice the cafe is using food that would otherwise be thrown away, and is run by volunteers. Bolton never used to be so mean spirited-it's sad. Best wishes to the people behind this venture, your work is invaluable in these very difficult times. Susan Wardle
  • Score: 58

3:25pm Mon 12 May 14

sallyupsteps says...

Jim271 wrote:
Lots of people who use these foodbanks and soup kitchens are alcoholics and drug addicts,

Unfortunately its cheaper to let them carry on with their addictions and die young rather than using the available medical treatment available to actually help them. sad but true.
At last! A sensible comment from jim.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: Lots of people who use these foodbanks and soup kitchens are alcoholics and drug addicts, Unfortunately its cheaper to let them carry on with their addictions and die young rather than using the available medical treatment available to actually help them. sad but true.[/p][/quote]At last! A sensible comment from jim. sallyupsteps
  • Score: -5

3:28pm Mon 12 May 14

Beyond News Forum says...

eatmytruth wrote:
Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.
In the USA they have a food stamps system which is on a monthly card. This EBT card does not make any distinctions at the pay counter and so those who complain that food stamps against their civil rights have no argument.

EBT cards - I am in favor of them... after all this is a food card and should not be seen as any kind of break in liberty. Anyone complaining that they do not get cash should be questioned.

one of the fantastic things about the EBT food card is a store can just click a button and any savings, in-store coupons etc are automatically deducted.

You can add you thumbs now :)
[quote][p][bold]eatmytruth[/bold] wrote: Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.[/p][/quote]In the USA they have a food stamps system which is on a monthly card. This EBT card does not make any distinctions at the pay counter and so those who complain that food stamps against their civil rights have no argument. EBT cards - I am in favor of them... after all this is a food card and should not be seen as any kind of break in liberty. Anyone complaining that they do not get cash should be questioned. one of the fantastic things about the EBT food card is a store can just click a button and any savings, in-store coupons etc are automatically deducted. You can add you thumbs now :) Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -36

3:37pm Mon 12 May 14

waka flocks flame says...

hal pel wrote:
92% not in favour of soup kitchens! Well done you lot, you've finally taken over the asylum.
I'm hoping that the 92% are saying that its bad that these are needed in today's society rather than they are not in favour of these charities.
[quote][p][bold]hal pel[/bold] wrote: 92% not in favour of soup kitchens! Well done you lot, you've finally taken over the asylum.[/p][/quote]I'm hoping that the 92% are saying that its bad that these are needed in today's society rather than they are not in favour of these charities. waka flocks flame
  • Score: 15

3:48pm Mon 12 May 14

itsnotthatbad says...

Beyond News Forum wrote:
eatmytruth wrote:
Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.
In the USA they have a food stamps system which is on a monthly card. This EBT card does not make any distinctions at the pay counter and so those who complain that food stamps against their civil rights have no argument.

EBT cards - I am in favor of them... after all this is a food card and should not be seen as any kind of break in liberty. Anyone complaining that they do not get cash should be questioned.

one of the fantastic things about the EBT food card is a store can just click a button and any savings, in-store coupons etc are automatically deducted.

You can add you thumbs now :)
I also heard holland has a nice benefits system too.....
[quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eatmytruth[/bold] wrote: Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.[/p][/quote]In the USA they have a food stamps system which is on a monthly card. This EBT card does not make any distinctions at the pay counter and so those who complain that food stamps against their civil rights have no argument. EBT cards - I am in favor of them... after all this is a food card and should not be seen as any kind of break in liberty. Anyone complaining that they do not get cash should be questioned. one of the fantastic things about the EBT food card is a store can just click a button and any savings, in-store coupons etc are automatically deducted. You can add you thumbs now :)[/p][/quote]I also heard holland has a nice benefits system too..... itsnotthatbad
  • Score: 3

4:03pm Mon 12 May 14

Beyond News Forum says...

itsnotthatbad wrote:
Beyond News Forum wrote:
eatmytruth wrote:
Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.
In the USA they have a food stamps system which is on a monthly card. This EBT card does not make any distinctions at the pay counter and so those who complain that food stamps against their civil rights have no argument.

EBT cards - I am in favor of them... after all this is a food card and should not be seen as any kind of break in liberty. Anyone complaining that they do not get cash should be questioned.

one of the fantastic things about the EBT food card is a store can just click a button and any savings, in-store coupons etc are automatically deducted.

You can add you thumbs now :)
I also heard holland has a nice benefits system too.....
Something similar... even the coffee shops take them apparently.

Sorry about the grammar, this speed typing isn't all what it is cracked out to be. My 'R's' and 'S's' suffer, the touch pad makes sentences jump and I cannot be bother to proof read for free comments lol.
[quote][p][bold]itsnotthatbad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eatmytruth[/bold] wrote: Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.[/p][/quote]In the USA they have a food stamps system which is on a monthly card. This EBT card does not make any distinctions at the pay counter and so those who complain that food stamps against their civil rights have no argument. EBT cards - I am in favor of them... after all this is a food card and should not be seen as any kind of break in liberty. Anyone complaining that they do not get cash should be questioned. one of the fantastic things about the EBT food card is a store can just click a button and any savings, in-store coupons etc are automatically deducted. You can add you thumbs now :)[/p][/quote]I also heard holland has a nice benefits system too.....[/p][/quote]Something similar... even the coffee shops take them apparently. Sorry about the grammar, this speed typing isn't all what it is cracked out to be. My 'R's' and 'S's' suffer, the touch pad makes sentences jump and I cannot be bother to proof read for free comments lol. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 1

4:26pm Mon 12 May 14

hal pel says...

waka flocks flame wrote:
hal pel wrote:
92% not in favour of soup kitchens! Well done you lot, you've finally taken over the asylum.
I'm hoping that the 92% are saying that its bad that these are needed in today's society rather than they are not in favour of these charities.
The question reads "Are you in favour of soup kitchens in today’s society?". The figure of 92% not in favour has now dropped to 87% not in favour. I think it's clear that 87% of voters aren't in favour of people using soup kitchens. I doubt that they are saying ". . . that its bad that these are needed in today's society. . .". I hope the people who aren't in favour never need to use a soup kitchen or a food bank for that matter; if they get their way there wont be any.
[quote][p][bold]waka flocks flame[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hal pel[/bold] wrote: 92% not in favour of soup kitchens! Well done you lot, you've finally taken over the asylum.[/p][/quote]I'm hoping that the 92% are saying that its bad that these are needed in today's society rather than they are not in favour of these charities.[/p][/quote]The question reads "Are you in favour of soup kitchens in today’s society?". The figure of 92% not in favour has now dropped to 87% not in favour. I think it's clear that 87% of voters aren't in favour of people using soup kitchens. I doubt that they are saying ". . . that its bad that these are needed in today's society. . .". I hope the people who aren't in favour never need to use a soup kitchen or a food bank for that matter; if they get their way there wont be any. hal pel
  • Score: 7

5:22pm Mon 12 May 14

David 1957 says...

There woudnt be any need for foodbanks if we had a caring goverment.Didnt think there could be a worse one since Thatcher.Cameron has surpassed it.
There woudnt be any need for foodbanks if we had a caring goverment.Didnt think there could be a worse one since Thatcher.Cameron has surpassed it. David 1957
  • Score: 10

5:27pm Mon 12 May 14

Reality50 says...

The British starve to death while the government gives £12 billion a year in foreign aid. Ever get the feeling you are being conned?.
The British starve to death while the government gives £12 billion a year in foreign aid. Ever get the feeling you are being conned?. Reality50
  • Score: 9

5:51pm Mon 12 May 14

Susan Wardle says...

This isn't a Foodbank! So much of this discussion is beside the point. I'm not involved with this project but unlike some, I have managed to read the article. The aim is to use food that would otherwise be wasted and highlight the need for that food in the community, for whatever reason. I find it strange that anyone would object to that, but those who are worried that a few people are getting something free could always go along and claim your own bowl of soup. I think I'm right in saying that unlike Foodbanks, this soup kitchen is open to all. So go for it.
This isn't a Foodbank! So much of this discussion is beside the point. I'm not involved with this project but unlike some, I have managed to read the article. The aim is to use food that would otherwise be wasted and highlight the need for that food in the community, for whatever reason. I find it strange that anyone would object to that, but those who are worried that a few people are getting something free could always go along and claim your own bowl of soup. I think I'm right in saying that unlike Foodbanks, this soup kitchen is open to all. So go for it. Susan Wardle
  • Score: 14

7:48pm Mon 12 May 14

Frotage says...

Reality50 wrote:
The British starve to death while the government gives £12 billion a year in foreign aid. Ever get the feeling you are being conned?.
'The British starve to death.......' really, whereabouts in the UK are people actually starving to death? Time are tough for some, no doubt, but starving, really?
[quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: The British starve to death while the government gives £12 billion a year in foreign aid. Ever get the feeling you are being conned?.[/p][/quote]'The British starve to death.......' really, whereabouts in the UK are people actually starving to death? Time are tough for some, no doubt, but starving, really? Frotage
  • Score: -4

10:05pm Mon 12 May 14

Citizen Cane says...

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Who pays for the premises and light and heat? And what "economic activity" is it generating if it is "free" and only open for 1.5 hours per week? And what point is being made if a city banker can go and get a free bowl of soup - that's very effective isn't it?
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Who pays for the premises and light and heat? And what "economic activity" is it generating if it is "free" and only open for 1.5 hours per week? And what point is being made if a city banker can go and get a free bowl of soup - that's very effective isn't it? Citizen Cane
  • Score: -1

11:30pm Mon 12 May 14

Susan Wardle says...

Citizen Cane wrote:
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Who pays for the premises and light and heat? And what "economic activity" is it generating if it is "free" and only open for 1.5 hours per week? And what point is being made if a city banker can go and get a free bowl of soup - that's very effective isn't it?
I don't think we have many City bankers in Bolton, though I do understand the point that you're making. I can't speak for this project as I'm not part of it but the cost of premises etc for a few hours a week is surely minimal. I think the point is that we should not waste food, that we can give food as a gift without worrying too much about whether people are "entitled", and that this sort of venture brings people together, possibly generating other kinds of mutual help, and makes the Town Centre a more welcoming place. If I've left anything out, Bolton Diggers are welcome to correct me. This is such a positive thing, let's support it.
[quote][p][bold]Citizen Cane[/bold] wrote: There is no such thing as a free lunch. Who pays for the premises and light and heat? And what "economic activity" is it generating if it is "free" and only open for 1.5 hours per week? And what point is being made if a city banker can go and get a free bowl of soup - that's very effective isn't it?[/p][/quote]I don't think we have many City bankers in Bolton, though I do understand the point that you're making. I can't speak for this project as I'm not part of it but the cost of premises etc for a few hours a week is surely minimal. I think the point is that we should not waste food, that we can give food as a gift without worrying too much about whether people are "entitled", and that this sort of venture brings people together, possibly generating other kinds of mutual help, and makes the Town Centre a more welcoming place. If I've left anything out, Bolton Diggers are welcome to correct me. This is such a positive thing, let's support it. Susan Wardle
  • Score: 3

11:30pm Mon 12 May 14

Susan Wardle says...

Citizen Cane wrote:
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Who pays for the premises and light and heat? And what "economic activity" is it generating if it is "free" and only open for 1.5 hours per week? And what point is being made if a city banker can go and get a free bowl of soup - that's very effective isn't it?
I don't think we have many City bankers in Bolton, though I do understand the point that you're making. I can't speak for this project as I'm not part of it but the cost of premises etc for a few hours a week is surely minimal. I think the point is that we should not waste food, that we can give food as a gift without worrying too much about whether people are "entitled", and that this sort of venture brings people together, possibly generating other kinds of mutual help, and makes the Town Centre a more welcoming place. If I've left anything out, Bolton Diggers are welcome to correct me. This is such a positive thing, let's support it.
[quote][p][bold]Citizen Cane[/bold] wrote: There is no such thing as a free lunch. Who pays for the premises and light and heat? And what "economic activity" is it generating if it is "free" and only open for 1.5 hours per week? And what point is being made if a city banker can go and get a free bowl of soup - that's very effective isn't it?[/p][/quote]I don't think we have many City bankers in Bolton, though I do understand the point that you're making. I can't speak for this project as I'm not part of it but the cost of premises etc for a few hours a week is surely minimal. I think the point is that we should not waste food, that we can give food as a gift without worrying too much about whether people are "entitled", and that this sort of venture brings people together, possibly generating other kinds of mutual help, and makes the Town Centre a more welcoming place. If I've left anything out, Bolton Diggers are welcome to correct me. This is such a positive thing, let's support it. Susan Wardle
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Tue 13 May 14

Jim271 says...

eatmytruth wrote:
Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.
That's good to know, that even if a person has been working and paying his taxes for 20 years as well as his NATIONAL INSURANCE if he does lose his job due to health issues or redundancy the only thing he should be entitled to is his minimum food,

The Workhouses are closed its no longer 1814, I hoped we had moved on.

Please try not to get cancer.
[quote][p][bold]eatmytruth[/bold] wrote: Maybe the government should redesign the welfare system. Instead of giving money to people they should fund these food banks where eligible people can take a certain amount of food per head. That would stop people abusing benefits by buying cigarettes and alcohol. And it would guarantee that nobody goes hungry. And if people dont want to live on the line anymore they will go out and get whatever job they can.[/p][/quote]That's good to know, that even if a person has been working and paying his taxes for 20 years as well as his NATIONAL INSURANCE if he does lose his job due to health issues or redundancy the only thing he should be entitled to is his minimum food, The Workhouses are closed its no longer 1814, I hoped we had moved on. Please try not to get cancer. Jim271
  • Score: 3

10:24pm Wed 14 May 14

Greasy Chip Butty says...

Well done Mr Brown and Co. I am all for as many people as possible actualy eating the food rather than it being chucked in a bin somewhere.
Well done Mr Brown and Co. I am all for as many people as possible actualy eating the food rather than it being chucked in a bin somewhere. Greasy Chip Butty
  • Score: 1

6:08pm Fri 13 Jun 14

artistpaint says...

Reality50 wrote:
The British starve to death while the government gives £12 billion a year in foreign aid. Ever get the feeling you are being conned?.
Well done
[quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: The British starve to death while the government gives £12 billion a year in foreign aid. Ever get the feeling you are being conned?.[/p][/quote]Well done artistpaint
  • Score: 0

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