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Sixty people in difficulty enjoyed their first lunch at the newly transformed St. Cuthbert’s Community Centre in Philbeach Gardens, Earl’s Court, on June 6th. The doors of the Victorian church hall had reopened following major refurbishment thanks to a project led by NGOs Food for Soul, The Felix Project and London Food Month. Its mission: to feed vulnerable people with food that otherwise would have been disposed of as food waste. “The world does not need to produce more food,” Michelin Star chef Massimo Bottura said at the project launch later that evening. “We simply need to use the food we have and stop the totally unnecessary waste.”

Skilled chefs just need to share the knowledge and teachworking chefs in our communities how to work with surplus food to produce delicious meals for everyone.” This is the basis for St. Cuthbert’s Centre’s new Refettorio Felix kitchen. According to Bottura, London’s leading chefs will visit the Centre regularly, sharing recipes and techniques specific to working with ingredients from food waste charity The Felix Project. Refettorio Felix was first conceived by Bottura’s non-profit organisation, Food for Soul, founded to fight against food waste in support of social inclusion and individual wellbeing. It follows on from Refettorio Ambrosiano, opened in Milan during Expo 2015, with subsequent projects launched in Brazil and elsewhere in Italy.

Richard Parker, Chairman of St Cuthbert’s Centre, said at the launch: “today was a momentous day for us, we were honoured and privileged to have been chosen to host these new surroundings.” Justin Byam Shaw, Chairman of the Felix Project, offered some poignant words on food waste, saying: “there’s more than enough food to go around, it’s just not reaching the right people.” Refettorio Felix will serve a weekday lunch from 12.30-2pm to people in need. It will stay open as a hub for culture, inspiration and social inclusion with the help of its four principal sponsors: Westfield, Grundig, Lavazza and Felicetti.

Why not take a look for yourself? Although the dining hall is not open to the general public, members of the Earl’s Court community have the chance to take a tour of Refettorio Felix during weekday visiting hours from 4-5pm. Please contact the Centre in advance to arrange. Want to help or support this worthwhile project? Visit www. refettoriofelix.com and get involved.

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