Who we are and what we do
We turn surplus food into healthy meals for those who need them. Since April 2020, we've provided over a million meals free of charge.
In its most simple terms, we turn surplus food into nourishing meals for people that need them, free of charge and without judgement. By making our service available to all, without the need to prove need, we reach some of the most marginalised people across Edinburgh.
We believe nourishing food is a basic human right and there should be no barriers to accessing it. Our core service is the delivery of a 'Day Pack', which comprises a day’s worth of nourishing meals. Community volunteers then package these meals ready for delivery across Edinburgh.
Empty Kitchens Full Hearts is first and foremost a movement driven by the following principles:
Serve others without judgement
Create a community
We are charitable in nature, but our actions are from a standpoint of respect and solidarity, not pity or saviourism. We will help as many people as we can, where and when we can. We will never ask clients to prove their need and will make no judgement of why they might need our support.
We have created our own community and support network, tying people from different walks of life together through shared values. We continually strive to ensure the safety and well-being of our volunteers. Volunteering with Empty Kitchens Full Hearts is a benefit to both society and the individual.
We repurpose food surpluses to benefit those who struggle with food insecurity. We transform food that would otherwise go to waste into healthy meals for people in need, thus preventing it from ending up in a landfill. Wherever possible we strive to reduce waste, recycle assets and materials and reduce our negative environmental impacts.
Aim for redundancy
Our ultimate goal is for organisations like ours no longer to be needed because safe access to food has been thoroughly addressed by local and national government. Empty Kitchens Full Hearts does not intend to simply become part of the 'poverty industry' but rather strives for a long-term solution to these challenges.
Advocate for a fairer food system for all
As an organisation set up by chefs, we understand the conditions and pressures associated with being a worker in the modern food system. From farmers to fast food workers the push for ever cheaper food places a huge demand on both our society and the environments we live in. By championing meaningful change through education and utilising our platform to lobby the government, we aim to make a long-term difference. By fostering an environment where kindness is more important than cost, we can provide a platform for our team to express their individuality and creativity.