Proposal: Kitchens after lockdown

Apologies for not being at the last meeting, but I was looking at the minutes and I wanted to make this proposal.


I think the stongest elements of the solidarity kitchen project has been proof we can handle large scale operations, logistics and that we can draw in a lot of people who want to help in some way. We can also distribute a large number of items to a large number of people, provide resources, ideas, plans, vision.

Weakest elements has been low engagement from people receiving meals, perhaps revealing a lack of understanding and clarity around the aims of the project. There is still a charity mentality in many but this is not an easy thing to change at the best of times. To me, this is always a big psychological hurdle to overcome. It happens even in unions, coop networks etc. People will use it as a service only, not as means to organise.

Another critique is we spread out across the whole city, rather than focus on a specific area where we could’ve built more localised solidarity efforts. We did this because the need was so great, because we were more central and away from more residential areas and in doing so we did manage to reach a greater number of people.


We should try to run some kitchens in a more localised fashion after lockdown easement or the Warehouse business needing to continue. We should do this because we want to create a more mutual aspect to the aid and we can do this better within a locality where people live closer to the people they aid. On a practical level this is a ‘food not bombs’ style of organisation.

To be concrete - we should try to use Stirchley Baths kitchen to instigate this in Stirchley where some of us live.

We should also create a model that can be replicated elsewhere in the city. This was something we thought of a while ago but struggled to implement due to the scale of ops in the central kitchen. This could take the form of an informational booklet, PDF, a bit like ‘how to set up a workers coop’. It would detail the ethos, practical steps, suggestions on what to do. Each new kitchen would be part of the Cooperation Birmingham network.


We moved to a four day week for Solidarity Kitchen from Saturday 27th June.

The Warehouse Cafe will be reopening this coming Friday. Initially using the Cafe kitchen three days a week and opening to the public on Friday and Saturdays.

As lockdown rules change and The Warehouse cafe looks to return to opening on more days. The four day week model is a temporary measure. We will need to put in place an alternative for the Solidarity Kitchen Project very soon.

I have put together an outline and proposal for the project to transform into the Solidarity Kitchen Community Cafe:

To create a pay as you feel cafe based at The Warehouse each Monday. Continuing the relationship with The Junk Food Project and Fare Share and drawing volunteers to the kitchen to cook a vegan feast using surplus food and donated allotment items for up to 150 people.
The cafe would be open during the day for pay as you feel tea/coffee and cake . From 4/5pm we sit together to eat the feast that has been created in the kitchen, also on a pay as you feel basis. Further meals would be delivered locally.

Paid workers would faciliate the kitchen and FOH. Income from the Pay as you feel would have the potential to support further paid workers in our community.

The benefit of this proposal is that it could transition very quickly from the existing model using the existing funds and further build a community of mutual aid support based around food provision and sharing.

Please read through the proposal and bring your thoughts and ideas to the next Sol Kit meeting.

Thx Paul


Thanks for this Paul. This is very exciting! I have so many clarifying questions but am in general really up for this.

It fits into all the discussion we’ve been having about the changing economic landscape after the medial crisis has subsided.

Perhaps this could be its own small sub-co-op? Like Co-op Cycle Brum.

It also ties in to ideas I’ve been having about other programs such as free clothes from research e.g. Black Panther Survival Program

Also noting that I think we should use the title “Solidarity Kitchen” for this.

1 Like

Co-op cycle isn’t gonna be small leo :stuck_out_tongue: !!!

1 Like