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Dartmoor Community Kitchen Hub

Ashburton, United Kingdom

After seven years in the planning, Dartmoor Community Kitchen Hub (DCKH) piloted its first project in April 2017. Working in partnership with a care home, the hub staff and volunteer team have already delivered over 10,000 meals to isolated and vulnerable people.

Initially focusing on the health and wellbeing of older people, the team developed a pilot model which went on to demonstrate that providing nutritious, locally sourced, freshly cooked meals for isolated people can be cost affordable and has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of elderly people both living in a residential setting and in the community.

Run by a growing volunteer team, the project has established links with multiple care providers throughout the region. At present the team supply 500+ meals per month to Devon residents and have also linked with Somerset Local Food Hub, who are now delivering DCKH meals to their customers. The Hub is on track to double their supply of meals over the next six months, expanding to reach other isolated groups including young carers and families who are dependant on food banks.

Most recently, the team have partnered with the University of Exeter to undertake a detailed two part study into the effect of diet on mental and physical health in older people. The first study of its kind, monitoring both the financial and physical effects experienced by both older people receiving care and of those providing a care service, the findings are due to be published in late 2019.

sankalpa, along with a number of other funders, has supported this project from conception to delivery, providing grant funding for initial research and support towards the pilot study. The findings from the pilot have formed the concept of Dartmoor Community Kitchen Hub (DCKH). This duplicable model, which also involved training people with learning difficulties in cooking skills, addresses social isolation through food sharing in rural communities nationwide.

Dartmoor Community Kitchen Hub, a short film — Luke's Story

sankalpa is a friend, trusted advisor and a helping hand that acts speedily to get us out of a difficult situation where banks and institutions would take too long to respond.

Stella West-Harling MBE, founder of Dartmoor Community Kitchen
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