Food Works Pop Up Market launch 2024

Push for More Pop-Ups

Food Works Sheffield stands out as a unique alternative to the problems of food access and food waste. With a mission to forge a food system that not only feeds everyone but also cares for our planet, Food Works has just unveiled its newest project to feed even more people. Their pop-up markets initiative has been rolled out in the last few months, and they are set to expand. But they need Sheffielders’ help. 

Food Works operates as a vibrant alternative within Sheffield’s diverse food landscape, embodying a commitment to sustainability and community empowerment. Its ethos revolves around transforming surplus and locally sourced ingredients into culinary delights and providing quality food with a pay-as-you-can model. 

Food Works collects and redistributes surplus food at their bustling Handsworth Market, ensuring no edible resource goes to waste. Here, you can pick up good-to-eat food that would otherwise have gone to waste in exchange for Pay What You Can contributions per food selection, including fruit, vegetables, ambient, chilled and frozen items. This initiative not only provides essential sustenance to those who visit but also fosters a sense of solidarity within the community as individuals come together to support one another in the fight against food waste.

Their kitchen cafes, situated in Sharrow and Upperthorpe, act as a culinary hub where surplus produce finds new life. They create wholesome meals and refreshing beverages for their cafe customers and supply cafes, shops and other food pantries around the city with their Just Meals; an ever-changing delicious selection of ready meals for a minimum contribution of £1. 

It’s not just about saving food, though; Food Works is deeply invested in promoting hyperlocal food production through its community growing initiatives on their Farm. By engaging residents in the cultivation of fresh produce right in their own neighbourhoods, Food Works not only fosters a deeper connection to the food they consume but also contributes to the resilience and sustainability of the local food system.

Beyond its culinary endeavours, Food Works is also focused on social change, empowering individuals through its community initiatives. Food Works equips community members with the tools they need to lead healthier, more sustainable lives by providing access to essential skills, knowledge, and support. Whether through cooking classes, gardening workshops, or educational seminars, Food Works is dedicated to fostering a more resilient and self-reliant community.

Central to Food Works’ success is its army of over 300 volunteers, whose dedication and passion drive the organisation forward. Together, they work tirelessly to divert over 500 tonnes of food from landfills annually, illustrating Food Works’ commitment to environmental stewardship and waste reduction.

However, Food Works recognises that there’s still more to be done. Thus, the launch of Pop Up Markets signifies another step towards a more inclusive and sustainable food future.

The inaugural pop-up market has found its home at The Link Community Hub in Stradbroke. Operating every other Tuesday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, it serves as a hub of support for the local community. The next gathering is scheduled for April 30th and every other Tuesday going forward.

The mechanism behind these pop-up markets is simple. Patrons can contribute a minimum of £1 for each of the four items they select for their shop. These contributions play a crucial role in sustaining the operations, ensuring that Food Works can continue its mission.

Yet, this initiative must thrive in collaboration. Food Works extends a call to action to the community, inviting partnership and collaboration to expand the reach of these pop-up markets to six regular spots across the city. Two key elements are crucial to realising this vision: seeking partner organisations and sourcing even more surplus food.

Food Works seeks partners willing to host weekly pop-up markets. The location’s accessibility to the local community is paramount, whether it’s a school, a pub, or a library. The aim is to establish these markets in areas where access to affordable food is limited, amplifying the impact and fostering inclusivity.

Food Works requires a steady supply of surplus food to fuel more pop-up markets. Businesses in the region are encouraged to collaborate by donating their excess produce. Food Works ensures that collections adhere to all relevant guidance and legislation, offering businesses an opportunity to make a substantial social and environmental difference while saving on disposal costs.

By coming together as a community, we can turn surplus into sustenance, waste into wellness, and isolation into inclusion. Food Works’ Pop-up Markets are a vital part of the collective action and shared responsibility we see in Sheffield’s food system, but growth needs to continue till everyone in our city can be well-fed. 

If you could be a partner organisation for Food Works, whether by providing surplus food or offering a location for one of the pop-up markets, they would love to hear from you. Please contact;