As a basic minimum people need enough nutritious food. However, Cyrenians values food beyond its role as fuel and has a range of services and social enterprises that teach people about the health and economic benefits of growing, cooking and eating good food together in our local communities.
Cyrenians Farm is a social enterprise located just west of Edinburgh. As well as a working farm producing local fruit, vegetables and eggs, they are also home to a community of vulnerable young people, many with backgrounds of homelessness.
The Good Food Programme is a social enterprise that provides opportunities for people and organisations to access food, improve their health and wellbeing, and to develop skills and confidence around cooking – in order to move towards a more settled life through good food. Main elements of the programme are:
- Food redistribution project (part of Fareshare UK). Through this programme Cyrenians redistribute surplus food from the food industry to over 70 member projects across Central and South East Scotland. They also distribute toiletries and sanitary products. To be eligible for membership organisations should be not for profit, working with vulnerable or socially excluded people and using food in the course of their work.
- A network of pantries that provide low cost, good quality food for families. Many run as a weekly pop up, please check our website for the next planned visit.
- Food education with a range of food related and cooking classes with ‘hands on’ activities that encourage healthy eating and promote social inclusion.
- Social enterprise events: monthly cooking classes on a Saturday morning (in person and over Zoom); Syrian supper clubs- come enjoy delicious food cooked by local refugees, using mainly Fareshare produce and local suppliers and also providing an income for the chefs.
- Volunteering in a range of roles, across the project.
Cyrenians also has two Community Gardens run in partnership with NHS Lothian, at the Royal Edinburgh and Midlothian Community Hospitals. Open three days a week for anyone to come along and volunteer on a drop-in basis, as well as running regular events, workshops and courses – fantastic opportunities to grow your own food, build community and keep active.