After a year of cooking being limited to a solo, or at most trio, exercise, it is such a pleasure to be able to meet in a small group once more to make our soups. We set tables out in a spacious room in Dunbar Parish Church Hall, and are ever grateful to be given the free use of this space and the hall kitchen.

The project is now funded by The National Lottery Community Fund: in May 2021 the Community Carrot was delighted to receive a three-year award for Sunny Soups and other community food work.

We are also pleased to have rebooted our relationship with the local Co-op superstore to collect surplus produce, as well as continuing to collect from the Crunchy Carrot (the trading name of the Community Carrot greengrocer shop), and with these two sources are making around 30 portions each session. These are being distributed by Dunbar Basics Food Bank, Dunbar Grammar School’s Dinner@DGS inter-generational community meal, and given to volunteers and staff for lunch at The Ridge’s community gardens. In the first six months of the year we made over 300 portions of soup and other meals during our weekly sessions, and have also made more batches of chutney with surplus apples to fundraise for sustainability projects.

We have around 10 volunteers at the moment, some of whom come weekly and some more sporadically, and it has been lovely to welcome some new faces and also some younger volunteers to the group too – the children love chopping, tasting and helping out. Many of our volunteers have sorely missed our regular weekly meet-up, so getting it back up and running is so valuable. The three main benefits of Sunny Soups are preventing food waste, supplying a free source of nourishing food to the community and reducing social isolation, and it is rewarding to be back fulfilling all three of our aims once again.