KENDAL'S 'pay what you can' cafe is in desperate need of more volunteers so that it can help those going hungry.

Launched earlier this year, Kendal People's Cafe serves meals from food and ingredients that are still in date but would otherwise have gone to waste.

However, with the school holidays approaching and the group behind the initiative wanting to offer more for children who might struggle without school meals, more bodies are needed to run project.

"We've been approached to see if we could do meals for children who would receive free school meals during term time," volunteer Gillian Cowburn said. "As obviously during school holidays they're not necessarily guaranteed to get a hot meal.

"We want to help but we need more people to help us do it. At the moment what we have said is during school holidays potentially we can feed people at the foyer."

The plea comes after The Westmorland Gazette launched its Support The Food Banks campaign last week to encourage donations to busy food banks.

She said that there is obviously a 'need' but with a core volunteer group of just four, offering an expanded service would be difficult.

Kendal's Booths, Charlie's Cafe Bar, The Waterside, The Moon, McClure's and Watson & Woollard all donate surplus food to the project, which was inspired by the successful Lancaster People's Cafe.

Gillian said that there are regulars who visit the cafe, including homeless people, parents with their children, some who take food away to cook for others and some who are receiving benefits.

As well as an affordable or free meal, the group can also provide those who are out of work with valuable volunteer experience and they would like to offer more training opportunities.

"We've had some young adults, a couple with physical difficulties, come in and work with us in the kitchen," she said. "All they might do is wash up but we need someone to wash up."

Money is another challenge for the group as it needs £50 a week for rent. To meet costs, it is going to host fundraising events.

"I think if you're hungry you can't function," Gillian said. "Food is a basic human right, isn't it?"

Anyone who would like to help with food donations, collections, or cooking can contact the Kendal People's Cafe on

Collection points for the King's Food Bank are located at The Westmorland Gazette offices, Asda and Booths in Kendal; Wilf's cafe in Staveley; The Wheatsheaf Inn, Brigsteer; County Offices in Kendal, South Lakeland House, Kendal; NatWest, Kendal. Most churches will also accept donations.

Cheques can also be posted to King's Food Bank at its Shakespeare Centre base in Kendal or money can be donated by standing order. For more, visit