A Birmingham social enterprise, ChangeKitchen CIC, is ‘cooking up change for good’ and is on a mission to provide community meals for vulnerable individuals during the current cost of living crisis. 

ChangeKitchen CIC is one of only 36 social enterprises and charities to be awarded The Cost of Living Challenge Fund, run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs. The fund supports Social Enterprises working with communities and individuals hardest hit by cost of living pressures. It provides a Match Trading grant to help grow trading income and tackle some of the hardest societal challenges. 

Founder, Dr Birgit Kehrer, says, “Being awarded the opportunity to match fund our income until the end of May means we can reach further and deeper into the local Balsall Heath community. This is particularly important as we approach school holidays. We use our profits to provide vulnerable families in the Balsall Heath locality, who need extra support at this time of economic hardship, with hot meals. Currently, we distribute up to 300 community meals each week.” 

“The Cost of Living Challenge Fund will mean we can double our efforts to reduce food poverty as every booking for catered events, whether it’s a business conference, staff lunch, a wedding or family celebration, w. With every £100 of income we receive, ChangeKitchen CIC can provide 100 free community meals. As of March 2024, we have provided 9,000 emergency food parcels, and the need is still present. Income also supports people with skills and into volunteering opportunities, and keeps our Community Pantry topped up.” 

“Balsall Heath is a vibrant, diverse community with deep cultural connections However, hunger is a               real-time social issue for many during the current cost of living crisis that can affect anyone. Our whole team is deeply passionate that no one should go hungry, or feel they are unable to ask for help when its needed.” 

ChangeKitchen CIC volunteer, Charlotte says, “Birgit and Tommy have welcomed me into the ChangeKitchen CIC ‘family’ – and it is like a family. Every day, we all have lunch together so it has given me social connections when I had been feeling isolated before. I’ve also learnt new skills that I hope will enable me to find work in the hospitality industry as I really love both preparing food in the kitchen but then serving food that I’ve helped cook to local people in the Kindness Café or an event. One day I could be talking to someone who is homeless and needs a hot drink or Pay It Forward meal, and then the next day chatting with business leaders at work-based conference. Being part of the ChangeKitchen CIC team has been life changing for me and my confidence has soared.” 

Robin Chu, Director of Strategic Projects at School for Social Entrepreneurs, explains why ChangeKitchen CIC has been awarded The Cost of Living Challenge Fund. He says, "We’re delighted that The Cost of Living Challenge Fund will be funding ChangeKitchen CIC to continue supporting vulnerable families in Balsall Health.  Social enterprises such as ChangeKitchen CIC are the bedrock of communities, providing vital support where it is needed most. We look forward to hearing about the amazing impact that Birgit and the team continue to make!" 

To support ChangeKitchen CIC and their work to alleviate food poverty in Birmingham, businesses and individuals can find out more on the ChangeKitchen CIC website: www.changekitchen.co.uk 

Dr Birgit Kehrer, ChangeKitchen CIC Founder, at The Active Wellbeing Society foodbank and supporting food distribution during Covid. 

ChangeKitchen CIC team preparing community meals.  

ChangeKitchen CIC catered International Women’s Day 2024 event at Ikon Gallery. 

ChangeKitchen CIC Kindness Café in Balsall Heath.

Further Information 

For further information and interviews, please contact:

Dr Birgit Kehrer (Founder, ChangeKitchen CIC)

Email: [email protected]  |  Telephone: 07828 825 850

ChangeKitchen CIC

A social enterprise based in Balsall Heath providing catering and hospitality services with profits invested in reducing food poverty, reducing food injustice, reducing food waste, and improving skills, life opportunities and healthy eating by providing volunteering, training and community meals for vulnerable people in the local community.