It’s great to be part of a larger network, thank you for inviting us. We're looking forward to taking our café on this journey with you” 

Edinburgh Community Food supports low income and vulnerable people across the city to source and consume healthy, affordable food. We have also supported the city’s Community Café network since its inception. The network provides out-of-home dining that is affordable and nourishing, in secure and welcoming spaces. Take 5 Access offers support to both Edinburgh’s communities and to the cafe staff and volunteers.

What are we doing?

Take 5 Access is a 12-week themed programme to improve: access to healthier food, advice and partnership support services in a friendly, inclusive local setting for multiple vulnerable communities. Our project reduces the risk of food insecurity, increases opportunities for healthier food both within and outwith the home, provides skills and resources to make use of healthier food and supports people through signposting processes, including to cash first resources.

Located in 20 community cafes citywide and employing a different theme each week, Take 5 reaches young families, black and minority ethnic groups, people facing food insecurity, café staff and volunteers and referrals from community partners. Each café selects 20 community members to receive a Take and Make DIY Meal Kit with on-line cook-along sessions. Families will have access to free meals on site for children, fruit to take home and subsidised (Pay It Forward) meals for adults.

Community Cafe Take 5 display at the Eric Liddell Centre


Beyond supporting communities, Take 5 will assist and provide legacy for staff and volunteers by developing a package of resources and practical support, including:

  • weekly supply of fresh ingredients/recipes with nutritional breakdowns;
  • raising awareness of money saving;
  • developing local supply chains;
  • energy efficient cooking/waste reduction;
  • REHIS-accredited training and support for signposting points.

If you run a community cafe in Edinburgh and would like to get involved, please contact Jo Howie at [email protected] or call 0131 467 7326.

Changeworks Advice Session at The Mill Cafe, Balerno

Family enjoying tomato and bean soup at Eric Liddle Centre Cafe Connect

The Take 5 Access project is funded by the Scottish Government, Population Health Directorate, Health Improvement Division