The Soul Food Story
We believe in beautiful spaces that hold long tables and delicious, homemade food. Spaces where anyone who is hungry is fed, loved supported, seen and heard. Spaces that whisper of hope, justice and transformation. Where there is always room for one more
Soul Food - more than a meal
Soul Food was initially inspired by an event run by the Astell Foundation in London called Saturday Night Fever, which offers a meal to homeless and marginalised people each week.
Richard Cornfield - the then Associate Rector at Ps and Gs Church - discovered that Saturday nights were often the most isolating evenings of the week to those who are homeless, and also the most difficult evening in which to find a meal in the city of Edinburgh.
His premise was simple: to set up a table, cook a meal and go out into the streets of our city and invite our neighbours to dinner.
Soul Food first opened its doors at Ps and Gs Church, York Place, in March 2014 and St Margaret's Church, Easter Road, in May 2018.
Soul Food officially became a charity - Soul Food Edinburgh - in August 2018, initially begun by Mustard Seed Edinburgh. ‘
Soul Food values
Generous meals of high quality food
A safe space (no alcohol or drugs, no rude or threatening behaviour)
Everyone - volunteer or guest - treated as equals, with kindness and respect
A commitment to walk alongside anyone in need of support
Collaboration with other agencies and organisations engaging in homelessness and poverty
Hospitality at the centre
With the distinct value that Soul Food is always more than a meal, our vision is centred around the power of a table. Holding to the fact that hospitality is something which is core to the very heart of Christianity, we hope that the ordinary setting of a dinner place becomes a space of life-changing relationship and community.
By setting a table and sharing a meal, Soul Food hopes to provide a context that offers a place of safety and security where people feel accepted, respected, valued, loved and heard.
The word hospitality literally means, 'the love of a guest'. This means that we will always be values-driven and people centred.
"You've not only given me a meal and a safe space to be, you've also given me a place to belong."
- Soul Food Guest