Fresh root vegetables: squash, swede, pak choi, leeks and cabbage.

BS3 Community Food Club: ‘In the summer I get so many wonderful things’

Affordable, nutritious food for south Bristol – plus a friendly chat too

BS3 Community Food Club in Bedminster, Bristol, opens at 2.45pm, but the queue starts hours beforehand. Why? Because people don’t only come here for the food. There’s a friendly buzz among the regulars, and plenty of smiles for new arrivals. For this food club – like so many others – a warm welcome and a chat is just as important.

Fresh veg

Caroline, who has been coming to the club for over a year, says: “We get so many wonderful things. Beautiful fresh fruit and veg. The basics of milk, eggs, butter. I’m on my own so it’s enough to last me pretty much through the week. It makes me cook because I don’t want to waste anything.”

“There’s just something surprising every week. I love all the rhubarb in the summer, just love it.”

Regular food recipient at BS3 Community Food Club

Once inside, the food club resembles a friendly supermarket, with volunteers on hand to help people choose and pack their food.

“The volunteers are just wonderful. Sometimes they put like a little note of what to do with the veg that I don’t know what to do with: toss it in some butter with garlic. And sometimes we get like a little bag with a recipe which tells you how to cook it.”

“It’s amazing food, fresh vegetables, eggs, milks. It’s wonderful. I’m happy.”

Regular food recipient at BS3 Community Food Club

Eating well and learning new recipes

Jackie who runs the club says that’s the main feedback she hears.

“It’s generally they’re eating better, they’re eating healthier. They’re actually cooking things that they never would have chosen to cook. So lots of very positive comments.”

The club gets the majority of its food from FareShare South West, but Jackie also sources fresh veg from Leigh Court Farm and local allotments via Bountiful Bristol, plus a range of supermarket surplus food via Neighbourly.

Food club members pay a small weekly fee and can stock up on healthy, nutritious and affordable food with a value of three or four times what they pay – all food that would otherwise go to waste.

With the cost of living placing more and more pressure on household budgets, it’s a genuinely vital resource. According to The Food Foundation, healthy food is on average over twice as expensive per calorie as less healthy options.

Changes for BS3

The club started almost 4 years ago as part of Family Action, and has been fully run by BS3 Community since August 2023.

We visited when the club was still based at the URC on West Street, but since April they’ve found a new home close by, in the Bedminster Methodist Church on British Road.

Thank you to Jackie, the regular volunteers and all the BS3 Community team for helping us fight food waste and food insecurity!

Find out more about BS3 Food Club and other food clubs across Bristol

What’s it like to volunteer at FareShare South West?

Volunteer Sid tells us all about his first warehouse shift.

Become a Food Friend with FareShare South West

We’re a charity, and we rely on supporters like you to keep fighting food waste and food insecurity. Become a Food Friend with a regular donation.

What does FareShare South West do?

Learn more about our food waste and environmental work across the south west, from Gloucestershire to Tintagel.

FareShare is the only charity to take food from the wholesale level of the food industry

The vast majority of surplus occurs before food even gets to the supermarket. Each member of the FareShare network rescues that food and delivers it to those in need. FareShare Go is our supermarket collection service, which deals with supermarket-level surplus.

Find out more about what we do