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Architects turn disused shop into food hub

Words by Smiley Team

Where there once stood an empty supermarket with a bland shop front, Nourish Hub is a new, bright and cheerful community space promising to feed up to 200 people a day. 

Located in west London, the hub aims to serve people who would otherwise be reliant on foodbanks. The borough to the south of Nourish Hub, Hammersmith and Fulham, is home to some of London’s most foodbank-dependent residents. 

To offer a long-term solution to this mounting issue, the architectural firm, RCKa Architects, joined forces with food charity UKHarvest. Nourish Hub was the result of this collaboration, designed around the real needs of people facing food insecurity.

“A foodbank is designed to meet an immediate and pressing need. It’s not a long-term solution,” RCKa architect Anthony Staples tells Smiley News

“The Nourish Hub on the other hand was conceived to support the local community in the long term, providing healthy meals is just the starting point,” he adds.

The hub features a commercial kitchen, a dining area, a teaching kitchen and a rentable workspace. These offer the facilities to distribute food as well as hold training sessions to build visitors’ cooking skills and confidence. The centre is also a new source of employment opportunities, helping people out of work build up an income stream in catering.

Through speaking to the local community, the architects designed the space according to their interests and needs. While the colourful roof pattern was based on children’s art workshops, the layout catered to adults wanting private spaces to cook in. 

Funded by the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the project aims to uplift deprived, vulnerable, socially-isolated or disadvantaged community members. 

An estimated 8.4 million people report having insufficient food across the UK - almost 15% of the population. To tackle this issue, UKHarvest rescues surplus food destined for landfill and educates people on healthy eating and food waste. Since 2017 the charity has worked alongside 400 partners to redistribute food to people in need, while their education programme reaches over 10,000 people.  

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Help tackle food waste while filling hungry bellies by donating to UKHarvest.

SUPPORT: To contribute to national efforts to overcome food insecurity, volunteer for UKHarvest.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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