'Be Enriched' is a South London based, community canteen. The charity creates spaces for communities to come together and meet new people over a free and delicious meal.

The first project the charity ran was known as ‘The Canteens Project’- this was created with the aim to provide young offenders with an alternative community service opportunity. After a huge amount of public interest, Be Enriched saw that there was an ongoing need for food and friendship in the community, so this short- term project grew.

Currently the charity has expanded to four canteens in South London, serving over 3880 meals with over 650 volunteers per year (alongside other projects). Additionally,the charity now provides food to roughly 340 households across Wandsworth every week.

The canteens create a space where everyone is welcome so there is a great mix of ages and a real sense of community within.They also  bring together in particular, vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those affected by addiction. Many people enjoy the socialising that comes with the canteens, not just the meals themselves. In fact, 79% of attendees said they returned to socialise with people they met there and friendships have continued outside of the charity.

Be Enriched was created to tackle face- on, the food poverty crisis the UK is having. In 2018, 8 million people across the UK did not have access to healthy, affordable food. This is perhaps is connected to the government’s decison to spend 1 billion less on community services such as ‘Meals On Wheels’ from 2013-2018.

Futhermore the founder of Be Enriched,Kemi Akinola, is passionate about helping the food poverty crisis in the UK. In 2006, Kemi was hit by a car and as a result was in a coma for two weeks. She then had to learn how to walk again as part of her recovery. In her TED-X talk, Kemi talks about,how in the six month period, before she was able to claim any benefits, she had to rely on her friends and family for food when prices went up. It was this experinece that motivated Kemi to help other victims of food poverty.