Sutton Community Project is run by a group of volunteers and dedicated to reduce food waste, support the vulnerable in our local community for a better future for all.
In November 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown in the UK, Andrew Ritchie & his family started to collect unsold surplus fresh food from local food stores to save it from going to waste, bringing it home, listing it on the OLIO app and redistributing to our neighbours.
This was offered to everyone; particularly those who were struggling financially, shielding or self-isolating due to covid and single parents for free. Over 180 families were fed during the time of unprecedented food insecurity affected by empty supermarket shelves and a lack of online delivery options. Without compromising each other's safety, free food was distributed 3-5 times a week from a non-contact Covid secure porch.
To help one of the most deprived areas, it has now moved location from a private home to The Thomas Wall Centre (52 Benhill Ave, Sutton SM1 4DP) at the heart of Sutton.
We are open every Tuesday from 2-6pm to welcome locals who collect food boxes as well as enjoy having a tea & cake and chat with our friendly welcoming team.
Since the launch in July 2021, we've been seeing people coming together, looking after each other, picking up a box for someone else isolating due to Covid or an elderly or vulnerable neighbour and cooking for a meal.
Some who were once being helped by others have become helpers at the centre serving regularly and enjoy being a part of this community.
Feel free to visit us, anyone is welcome!
What We Do
Food distribution to families in Sutton
We make up around 60 food boxes every Tuesday and give to families who are going through difficult time for FREE.
Free Food Boxes
Free tea & cakes
Place for a community
We are supported by local churches and local residents in Sutton
South London Japanese Church
Many of the volunteers come from The South London Japanese Church, a dedicated group of people with a real passion to serve! They meet every Sunday at Stayton House (93 Stayton Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 2PS, 15-20 mins walk from the Thomas Wall Centre) and have many regular meetings throughout the week. For more information, visit https://www.sljc.co.uk/
Christ Church London Sutton
"We love being able to do church with our best friends in a place we love, and we’d love you to be part of our community. We hope to provide a sense of home for everyone, especially those who’ve never stepped foot in church before. Our aim is to be good news to our local community, to explore faith together and to experience God’s power in even the most ordinary moments of our lives. Come along to a warm welcome and find out what the next step on your faith journey might be. We can’t wait to meet you!" Sunday Service at the CryerArts Theatre (39 High St, Carshalton SM5 3BB). For more information, visit https://christchurchlondon.org/sutton/
Hong Kong Friendship Group in Sutton
There is a large growing number of people who have recently moved from Hong Kong to the London Borough of Sutton. Many friendly Hong Kong volunteers serve at Sutton Community Project. If you would like to get to meet some of the most loveliest people in town, you will find them here!
Testimonials from the visitors
"Just wanted to say thank you for the veg each week.
It really makes a difference to me.
I've had the most traumatising few years and have struggled financially for the last 2 yeas, so it really does make a difference to myself and my 3 children.
"You're so kind. Thank you so much. We really do appreciate all your help with food. I was made redundant at the beginning of the pandemic and I have been studying to get myself back into work. I'm still studying for now so the help you give us all means so much. Thank you x "
"Everyone in our block of flats look 4ward to it sooo thank u. Ur really making a big difference. I'll aim to b with u for 2pm. Take care and thank you once again x "
"Thank you all for welcoming my new friend yesterday. She really enjoyed herself. She has lost her husband of years to COVID and she hasn't been living in London for very long. So coming yesterday did her a world of good. Thanks again!!!!!"
"Today I sat next to the bed to a lady that gets food from the Community Project and she shared with me about her struggles but moreover what a big positive impact it has on both her and her family life. Tears rolled down on both of us as she is trying to get better with her illness, shared her struggles and her hopes of recovery and how one day she hopes she will be well enough to come to visit the project herself. For her, this veg box means someone cares for them.
"It's not just about the fresh food (tho it helps hugely), it's the community feel and being welcome to. Plus the children as you can see, get to use the ingredients to, so a 'win win' all round."