Resonance Helps to Declare War on Food Poverty in Cornwall

Resonance has made another investment from its Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund (South West) (H&WCF) for £130K to Keep Cornwall Fed (KCF).  With an innovative financial model generating revenue using skills learned over many years cooking in commercial kitchens, the organisation helps feed people struggling with food poverty.   The investment will help Keep Cornwall Fed support more people out of food poverty.

Keep Cornwall Fed CIC, is run by Chefs Stuart Millard and Mike Greer, and is a catering company tackling the issue of food waste and food poverty in Cornwall using surplus food from wholesale producers, supermarkets and growing schemes, that would otherwise be sent to landfill. This surplus food is used to provide high quality food from pop-up restaurants, street food stalls and events and catering at private functions across Cornwall.  The profits generated allows KCF to provide healthy, nutritious, hot meals to people living in food poverty, delivered through food banks and other partners. It is KCF’s aim to provide 5,000 nutritious meals per year this way. The organisation also wants to help people out of food poverty and to do this, Stuart and Mike use the wealth of knowledge they have gained from working in the food industry to provide cooking classes teaching people how to cook healthy food on a small budget, with little to no waste.

The Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund is an impact investment fund established with investment from the Growth Fund and South West Academic Health Science Network (SWAHSN). The Growth Fund is managed by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, and is funded from the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

The Fund seeks to make social impact investment more accessible and relevant to smaller social enterprises looking to expand their operations and impact in the South West linked to the broad theme of Health & Wellbeing. Keep Cornwall Fed is an ideal social investment opportunity as it has been able to demonstrate high impact in helping those struggling with food poverty from a sustainable revenue model. Social enterprises such as this are exactly the types of organisations that the H&WCF can help, generating a revenue stream to provide the right impact.  Resonance also really likes how KCF has a great track record in building strong partnerships to secure food surplus with producers and suppliers that don’t want to see food going to landfill, as well as food banks, youth groups and other organisations enabling it to deliver food and education to those most in need – these strong connections have ensured that people most in need can be supported effectively as skills and knowledge is shared between the partners.

Stuart Millard of Keep Cornwall Fed said of the investment “We are really pleased that we’ve received this investment to help us achieve our dream of assisting 5,000 people a year, who are struggling with food poverty.  This finance will enable us to scale up our impact and create our pop-up restaurant in Charlestown and also to buy much needed equipment for us to cater for private events, which will help us fund our mission of providing nutritious meals to those who need it, or teaching the next generation how to cook good, healthy food with little or no waste, sometimes on a tiny budget.  Without the investment, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much in such a short time.”

Tom Crook, Investment Analyst at Resonance describes the deal and how it came about: “KCF approached Resonance for a small loan to support them with cash flow until the summer period when they generate the majority of their income.  As we talked, it became clear that the innovative income model KCF used to provide sustainable social impact, could be scaled effectively so we examined together how a larger sum from H&WCF could maximise their impact across Cornwall. The result was an investment structure that allows the organisation to build capacity and provide more cooking classes earlier than initially planned, and as a result, would help more people out of food poverty sooner than they would otherwise have been able to.

“We try to be flexible with the funding we offer.  Keep Cornwall Fed is the second organisation that we have provided with “permanent capital” alongside a standard loan. The use of permanent capital is an innovation Resonance has introduced in direct response to the needs of growing social enterprises. In essence, it involves a loan for which there are no initial repayments and no set repayment dates, allowing the organisation to focus on building capacity and scaling its impact.  Instead, a share of the enterprise’s revenue is paid once they are operating at a level where repayment is less of a burden.”