Sunny Soups is a food waste project run by charity The Ridge, to provide local people with life and employment skills. Surplus food is collected from local shops, community gardens, farms and households, before volunteers turn it into soups, which are then available for anyone to take, absolutely free, from a freezer in Dunbar’s Bleachingfield Centre. This has become a well-used resource for those looking for a quick, healthy meal, as well as helping many people out when food budgets are tight. Many of the volunteers who make the soups struggle with social isolation, mental health issues or addictions, so the project gives them a chance to stay in touch and learn new cooking skills.
The £3,000 prize means the community project can replace its broken freezer, which enables The Ridge’s Sunny Soups to continue feeding local families and give volunteers a rewarding social activity each week. The prize also means the project can continue to work within the community, including with its local hospital.
Hannah Ewan, of The Ridge’s Sunny Soups, said “The Ridge and the Sunny Soups team is over the moon to have won £3,000 of appliances from Stoves. Winning this was a real community effort, with hundreds of people from Dunbar rallying behind our community food projects to help us. The Sunny Soups volunteers have enjoyed our weekly cooking sessions for over a year now, working hard to turn over 560kg of would-be-waste produce into 1,150 portions of nourishing food, and this prize will enable us to have a new freezer to replace our increasingly shabby original one. It no longer has a handle and we can't wait to install a shiny new unit to proudly store all our soups and fruit pots in! If our freezer had failed us, which it is in imminent danger of doing, we would not only lose all the food inside it but would have to stop our food waste project until we could fundraise for a new one, so to have that danger lifted is a huge relief.
“We're also hoping to use the prize fund for a new cooker for Dunbar Parish Church Hall, the kitchen where we hold our cooking classes and soups making sessions. This will make a huge difference not only to us but also to the many other community and church groups that use the kitchen. We will also be able to buy an additional freezer to store Sunny Soups ingredients and surplus in, enabling us to save more even food from the bin.”
"Our freezer is breaking! The handle is snapping off, and can't be fixed and without a freezer, we won't be able to continue our project. We are currently using a second-hand freezer, funded by our fantastic local Zero Waste project. A new freezer would really take the pressure off and enable us to continue running this project, which both feeds local families when money is extremely tight, and gives our volunteers a rewarding, social activity each week."
"We have built up a really loyal, committed group of volunteers - some of them walked for an hour through the recent snow to make our cooking session - and the soup we made that week went straight to our local community hospital as their suppliers couldn't get through the snow, so they asked us if we could provide the patients' dinner!"