The Free Cafe (TFC) is a social initiative in the city of Groningen, The Netherlands. The mission of TFC is to create an environment where everybody feels welcome and to find their own place. It welcomes young and old of every background: the neighbours, homeless, school classes, refugees, elderly and students. We want to achieve this by creating The Free Cafe and run it with all these people together, by means of generosity and collaboration – and without money.
TFC is an opportunity to create a piece of wonderland where people can enjoy peace and nature.
The Free cafe is a social meeting place where we can eat together, work together, cook together and where workshops will be offered in the fields of nature, sustainability and creativity. Special programs will be targeting schoolchildren, refugees, the elderly and other groups that can use some additional care and guidance. In addition, we have regular information meetings and symposia on topics related to the objectives of The Free Cafe. With these activities The Free Cafe wants to promote the exchange and accumulation of knowledge and skills, both enjoyable and for free.
With a fully sustainable approach, The Free Cafe wants to show what is possible to build with materials that are in abundance. The venue of the Free Cafe, as well and the interior and the furniture are built from materials that are in surplus and considered as waste. We, at the Free Café, will use these materials in the future to create completely sustainable and independent facilities, including power generation, eco toilets, grey water filtering, rainwater systems and compost processing. The Free Cafe is committed to fight food waste by forestalling it and using edible good that would be otherwise thrown away. The volunteers of The Free Café collect food from the market, selected supermarkets, farmers and other concerned actors. The Free Café stands not only for the opportunity to fight food waste by sharing plenty of healthy free meals but also offers a space where we can live together without depending on market-driven forces.
All pictures taken by Jelle Chill