Inside look at Down Town Community Grocery's affordable new cafe and kitchen in the town centre

The Burnley Express has taken an inside look at an affordable new cafe and community kitchen in the town centre.

Burnley Together has launched the cafe at Down Town Community Grocery in Charter Walk Shopping Centre (above New Look) to help reduce food waste and support struggling families during the Cost of Living Crisis.

Down Town also boasts a community kitchen offering cookery courses to raise money to provide meals for those in need. Groups can also hire it to teach people how to cook healthily on a budget.

Mark Dempsey, Head of Hospitality & Culture at Burnley Leisure Trust, part of the Burnley Together group, said: ”The cafe is fantastic. It offers good-value lunches to help people who are struggling.”

The cafe also runs a scheme allowing people to pay for a hot meal for someone in need.

"If someone is really struggling we can give them a really nutritious hot meal and introduce them to the grocery and our other services like housing and mental health support for wrap-around care. We offer all sorts of stuff under one roof. It’s a really amazing place.”

But the cafe is not just people who are homeless, says Mark, but also for “working families, everybody really: we’re all having to tighten our belts.”

It also takes food donations from businesses to stop leftover products “going to the bin or pig farm. Stuff that’s just gone past it’s sell-by date but is still good to use. We all waste so much.”

To help this mission, Down Town will host Waste Not Want Not, serving up a three-course meal to the public on Thursday, November 23rd at 6pm. Diners can pay what they think the dinner is worth and the proceeds will help fund 400 meals at the cafe.

“We hope it will be quite special. It will blow your mind.”

Tickets are available at the Mechanics.

Down Town is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 4pm. For help and support, ring 01282 901522

Here is an inside look at the cafe and kitchen:

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