FoodCycle Serves Up

FoodCycle Serves Up

In a world where food poverty and loneliness are growing issues, FoodCycle is a source of hope and community spirit. This national charity aims to make food poverty, loneliness, and food waste a thing of the past by bringing people together over free, nutritious meals made from surplus food. With 84 locations nationwide, FoodCycle operates two vital projects in Sheffield that welcome anyone looking for a warm meal and good company.

Every Tuesday evening, the doors of Mount Tabor Methodist Church on Wordsworth Avenue open to the community at 6:30 PM. Here, FoodCycle Sheffield Parsons Cross serves up hearty meals to anyone who walks through the doors. Whether you’re a low-income family, a person affected by homelessness, an elderly individual seeking companionship, a student looking for new friends, or simply someone passionate about reducing food waste, FoodCycle welcomes you with no questions asked.

On Wednesdays, the Broomhall Centre on Broomspring Lane matches this energy, offering companionship, activity and warmth from 12:30 PM. FoodCycle Sheffield Broomhall offers a midday escape where people from all walks of life can come together to share a meal and enjoy each other’s company. This project is especially cherished by those who might otherwise eat alone, providing a much-needed sense of belonging and community.

FoodCycle’s mission, both here in Sheffield and nationally, is underscored by compelling research. In 2023, the charity released a report by Dr Marsha Smith of Coventry University, an expert in social eating and community food systems. Supported by a survey of 2,000 people, the report highlighted that community dining is a powerful tool for tackling loneliness and food insecurity. Astonishingly, nearly two in three respondents felt that local councils aren’t doing enough to promote such projects. The survey also revealed that 24% of people eat alone every day, yet half of the respondents believed that eating together benefits mental health.

Shared mealtimes are beneficial for everyone, eating with others significantly boosts happiness and satisfaction with life. Communal meals also improve social bonding by enhancing social networks and emotional support, fostering a stronger sense of community. Communal eating is especially important for families and young people. Children and teenagers who regularly sit down for meals with others tend to have healthier diets and are less likely to become overweight or obese. Although it may be challenging for some households to achieve regular family meals, psychologists and nutritionists agree that eating together improves physical and emotional well-being. 

Despite the clear advantages of communal meals, 96% of the population had not heard of community dining projects. However, nearly half said they would attend if one was available in their area. FoodCycle is working to bridge this gap, providing welcoming spaces where anyone can enjoy a meal and a conversation. FoodCycle’s free community meals cater to a diverse group of guests. From low-income families to elderly individuals experiencing loneliness and from students to food waste warriors, everyone finds a place at the table. 

FoodCycle’s core aims are to connect communities by bringing people together to share healthy, delicious meals, thereby building resilience and strengthening social bonds. The charity supports mental health and well-being by creating welcoming spaces where individuals from all backgrounds can engage in meaningful conversations. By cooking nutritious meals for those in need, FoodCycle also addresses hunger and improves food knowledge and behaviour. Additionally, the organisation promotes sustainability by using surplus ingredients, helping to change attitudes towards food waste and environmental impact.

The meals are not only about providing nourishment but also about fostering mental well-being and strengthening the community fabric. In times of rising living costs, such initiatives are more important than ever, offering a lifeline to many.

FoodCycle’s success hinges on its incredible volunteers, and the charity is always on the lookout for more helping hands. Flexible volunteer roles without a minimum time commitment are open to anyone who wants to make a difference. Opportunities include food collection, coordinating surplus food, cooking, hosting, and running projects.

By volunteering with FoodCycle, you can be part of a movement that not only feeds people but also builds connections and fosters community spirit. Volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring that every meal served is not just about food but also about creating a supportive and friendly environment where everyone feels valued and welcome.

FoodCycle Sheffield Parsons Cross is located at Mount Tabor Methodist Church, Wordsworth Avenue, Sheffield, S5 8NJ, and operates every Tuesday from 6:30 PM. FoodCycle Sheffield Broomhall is located at Broomhall Centre, Broomspring Lane, Sheffield, S10 2FD, and operates every Wednesday from 12:30 PM.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, visit the FoodCycle website (  By coming together to share food and conversation, we can help alleviate food poverty, combat loneliness, and reduce food waste, one meal at a time.

FoodCycle’s Sheffield projects are more than just meal services; they are lifelines for many, providing not just sustenance but also connection, compassion, and community. Whether you’re looking to lend a hand or simply enjoy a meal, FoodCycle offers a place at the table for everyone. Join us in making a difference and be part of a community where everyone is welcome.