School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

News Item

Tyne Fresh

A food hub in Meadow Well for locally-sourced affordable food

Tyne Fresh – Connecting You With Local Food is a collaboration between Meadow Well Connected, a community hub in North Tyneside, and Sebastian Prost (PhD student at Newcastle University, Open Lab).

While there are many farmers’ markets, food co-operatives and food hubs in the UK offering an alternative local shopping experience, prices and the image of ‘local’ food can often exclude low-income groups. Meadow Well Connected serves the Riverside and Chirton wards, both among the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods in England in terms of education, employment, income, health, and environmental quality.

Tyne Fresh launched in November 2018 as part of a participatory action research collaboration with Meadow Well Connected and four local food suppliers: North East Organic Growers (supplying seasonal organic vegetables), FAB Bakery (supplying organic sourdough bread), YMCA Urban Mushrooms (supplying oyster mushrooms grown on used coffee grounds), and Quality Butchers North Shields (supplying local meat).

The project works under the umbrella concept of ‘food democracy’, challenging the global corporate food system and wanting to find alternative forms of food provisioning built on principles of social justice, environmental sustainability, community health, and democratic governance.

Currently, the food hub sells products from the above producers at wholesale or discounted prices. This is enabled through the use of an online platform to handle food orders and payments. The Open Food Network, itself a social enterprise and open source platform, allows anyone to launch a food hub and connect with producers on the platform.

Via the online shop, available at customers can place their orders. Once a week, producers deliver in bulk to the community centre. There, customer orders get bagged and are ready for pick-up every Thursday and Friday.

Besides individual items the food hub also sells ‘meal boxes’ that come with a recipe card and all ingredients needed to cook the dish. The recipes are easy enough for less confident cooks and include common local classics like cottage pie, ham hock soup, or sausage casserole. Tyne Fresh also runs a loyalty scheme: For every 5 meal boxes ordered the customer gets a sixth one for free. Additionally, it runs a pay-forward scheme: For orders above £10, Tyne Fresh donates a vegetable bag to The Bay Food Bank, located next door to Meadow Well Connected.

Having been open for several months now, the group is actively recruiting volunteers to manage the operation and steering of the food hub. For this purpose, they are planning a series of engagement activities, such as a school programme, farm visits, and competitions with the local community.

For more information and to order visit or contact

To comment, share or give feedback please visit the Meadow Well Facebook page 

Read theTyne Fresh Leaflet.

Tyne Fresh logo


Tyne Fresh launch
Tyne Fresh Launch

published on: 20 March 2019