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New community larder launching at Milton Keynes cafe

A community larder has officially launched in Loughton, providing access to surplus food, local business discounts and a chance for residents to meet new people in a friendly environment. 

The Grumpy Cook in Loughton, a popular local community café, will be home to the brand new larder from Thursday 18th April, with the help of SOFEA.

The café’s owner, Barry Ashley, is passionate about the community, with the café being known locally for its kind community events, affordable meals and for offering a warm space to those in need. 

The community larder is open to anyone who wants to prevent food waste and save money, with individual memberships starting at just £3.50 a week. An individual membership provides up to 10 items of food per week, including a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Labour councillor Shanika Mahendran said: “We were really keen to bring a community larder to the Loughton & Shenley ward and Mandy Legg has been a real community champion, bringing together different community partners, including SOFEA and The Grumpy Cook, along with the local parish, to get it off the ground. We are really excited to see it grow and we hope it will be a successful project. We’d love to see our residents signing up!”

Barry Ashley, owner of The Grumpy Cook said: “The Grumpy Cook is thrilled to collaborate with SOFEA in their mission to eliminate food waste. We are especially drawn to the fact that their assistance is not means tested and is available to everyone, aligning perfectly with our commitment to offer food aid without any stigma.”

Tracy Pearson, Area Manager for SOFEA said:“Community larders help take the pressure off the local food bank but also help to create a space for people to have access to surplus food for a low cost and it is not means tested. Anyone can join. We want to say a huge thank you to Mandy Legg for bringing us together to help make this happen." 

The Loughton Community Larder will run every Thursday from 11am-12.30pm. You can sign up to use the community larder here:


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