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Pay as you feel café opens in Stokey

Sipologist Social

A 'second chance’ pop-up café has opened in Stoke Newington offering soup and smoothies and allowing people to pay what they like.

The zero-waste café at St Mary’s Church is open on Thursday and Friday lunchtimes in March and April and uses leftover food from local shops, including Spence, Wholefoods and local fruit and veg stores.

It’s being manned by volunteers from the church, Hackney Migrant Centre, Hackney Food Bank and the local community.

Rev Dilly Baker, of St Mary’s Church, said: “I’m hoping there will be a complete mix of people - the 2nd Chance Café is a space where people can come together on an equal footing where status and the amount of money you have in your pocket doesn’t matter. It’s a place for genuine connection with others.”

Envelopes are left on tables and guests can pay what they like.

Dilly added: “We’d welcome donations from those who want to - whether they pay £10 for a bowl of soup, nothing or something in between, they will be shown the same respect and the same hospitality.

“Sadly a lot more people are hungry these days. Universal Credit means benefit is being cut for many people so there’s a lot more people out there struggling to get by.

“We sometimes have food left over from the projects that happen at the church during the week and we know shops want to find something responsible to do with food that is nearing its sell-by date. It’s great to be using food responsibly, while not compromising on standards.”

The church was given a small grant from the Near Neighbours fund to set the café up. Money raised will go back into the café.

To volunteer at the café email


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