Five differences between us and the Foodbank

People often ask us the difference between Random Café and the Foodbank. We’re fans of Watford Foodbank – we think the work they do to support our community is amazing – but we’re different from them in a number of ways:

  1. Our food isn’t free. Random Café operates on a Pay As You Feel basis. We believe food is valuable and also that everyone should have access to food. We also have to cover our running costs. This is why we ask everyone who comes along to donate what they can for the food they take.
  • Anyone can use Random Café. Unlike the Foodbank, you don’t need to be in receipt of benefits or be referred to us. Just turn up during one of our opening times and see what food we have on offer that day.
  • We offer fresh produce. Because we make collections from supermarkets in Watford throughout the week, we’re able to offer fresh fruit, vegetables, bakery items and even flowers.
  • We offer food that is past its best before date. The Foodbank is unable to offer any ‘out of date’ food. In fact, we sometimes collect food that the Foodbank can’t distribute in time. All of the food we offer is still perfectly edible. By offering it to our customers, we are preventing it from going to landfill.
  • We are a (non-profit) Community Interest Company, not a charity. We don’t receive any government support through schemes such as Gift Aid and many traditional funding sources aren’t open to us. We have to cover all of our costs through Pay As You Feel donations and any additional fundraising we’re able to do.

With thanks to Watford Foodbank for their support of Random Cafe and for the incredible work they continue to do in our community.

Thank you 💖

Thank you all for your lovely comments of congratulations. It’s been a long journey and we are very excited to now be in a full-time home. It’s going to take a lot of work and fundraising to get the site looking lovely again. Over the last three years I’ve had the privilege to work with an amazing group of volunteers, and our team has expanded to nearly thirty in that time. They have already been working hard to clear the site and I will post photos to show the progress they have made over the next few days. Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in volunteering with us, we have enough volunteers at present but will add any names of those interested to our database.
Thank you again for the love and good wishes.
Jane 💚

Random Café’s New Home

After just over three years and five temporary locations across Watford, we are delighted to announce that Random Café now has a permanent home at the Meriden Gardens in Watford. Walking distance from the Meriden Community Centre, the Meriden Gardens is a 100sq metre site that will allow us to have a full time premises in the heart of the Meriden community.

We are delighted to have a full time property and would like to express our thanks to Watford Community Housing Trust for agreeing to our proposals. With four polytunnels, including one heated one, as well as numerous raised beds, we believe the site will become a community and sustainability hub for Watford.

Our mini market will remain at the Leavesden Green Community Hub until we are able to move it to our new home. However, we will no longer be open on a Saturday afternoon to allow our volunteers who work during the week to come to our new home, and help the team there.

Please keep following our social media channels to be the first to see the latest developments at the Meriden Gardens.

And the winner is…

Last month, Random Café put the call out to the community to design a superhero to help us fight food waste in Watford. Despite saving over 47 tonnes of food from being wasted since 2017, we knew that there was more that we could do so we asked for your help. As a further incentive, Watford Asda donated a hamper of prizes for the winner.

Food waste - Wikipedia

As a result of our competition, we were inundated with entries and our team had the difficult decision to decide who would be Watford’s Food Waste hero. After some consideration, we are delighted that Watford has its own food waste superhero in the form of Super Sam Broccoli Man. Designed by Katie aged 7 and checking everyone’s wheelie bins, he will be making sure that as much food as possible is saved in the town. Congratulations Katie and to our four runners up who also won prizes and thank you to everyone who entered.

As a result of this competition, the Random Café team will now be working with designers to create a digital version of Super Sam Broccoli Man who will be featured on bags, key rings and badges that you can purchase to help support us. We hope to be running similar competitions in the upcoming months so keep an eye on our social media pages to find out the latest opportunities.

Food Waste Superhero

Whilst Batman serves the city of Gotham as its Dark Knight, and Peter Parker swings through the streets of New York as its resident superhero, Watford needs its own superhero to help save the town from food waste.
As a result, Random Café has placed the call and needs you to create a Food Waste Superhero who can help us reduce food waste in the town.

Throughout August, we are looking for budding artists under the age of 11 to send in their ideas for a Food Waste Superhero. As well as a design, we’d like a Superhero name and a description of their Food Saving superpowers.

Once the competition has closed, the Random Café team will decide on the winning design and that winner will receive a Boredom Busting Hamper (basket not included) full of fabulous things, to keep you busy, donated by Asda in Watford and Random Café volunteers. As well as this amazing prize, the winner will also have their design become one of Random Café’s logos and featured on badges, bags and many other products.

The four best runners up will also win a prize, donated by Asda, Watford.

To enter, click here to download the entry form.

Alternatively, pop into our Pop Up Shop at Leavesden Green Community Hub on Tuesdays and Thursday between 10 am and 12 pm, or Saturdays between 10 am and 12 pm and 1 pm and 3pm and collect an entry form from one of our volunteers.

Entries can be posted to Random Café HQ (41 Highwood Avenue, Bushey, WD23 2AL) or handed in at our our Pop Up Shop at The Hub.

We look forward to seeing all the entries and having our own superhero to fight food waste alongside us. You can also help Random Café fight food waste by becoming a Friend of Random Café.

Click here to find out more information as well as the various benefits of being a Friend of Random Café.