11:02AM, Wednesday 15 May 2013
An independent coffee shop in Maidenhead High Street has launched its own version of a charitable initiative.
When Java & Co customers add a £1.50 'suspended coffee' to their order the money is donated to Foodshare.
The scheme provides non-perishable food to families who cannot afford a proper meal every day.
"People think it's a great idea," said shop owner Andrew Bowen.
"The response has been very good and we're hoping that it'll spread in and around Maidenhead in different forms."
Suspended coffee is an idea said to have originated in Naples, Italy.
Traditionally where someone has experienced good luck they buy two coffees but only receive one.
The other can then be claimed by someone who can't afford to buy their own.
Other countries and coffee shop chains have adopted the initiative in different forms.
Andrew and his wife Claire, from Abingdon, launched it in their Oxford branch on April 21 to support a homeless shelter.
Their Maidenhead shop followed suit on Friday.
Foodshare was set up in 2011 by Sue Brett, founder of the Open Kitchen charity.
She described the support of Java & Co as 'invaluable'.
"We're now feeding 77 families a week, and each week we're being asked to cover more," she said.
"It's only £1.50 and that can go such a long way to helping those in need."
Among the services Open Kitchen provides is a two-course meal once a month on a Tuesday at Larchfield Community Centre in Desborough Park.
The next one is set to take place on June 11 from 5.30pm.
The charity is also launching a free breakfast club from July 24 at Ellington Children's Centre, off Ray Mill Road West, aimed at those who receive free school meals during term time.
Food will be served from 9-10am and the opportunity to stay and play provided.
To register for the club or to support Open Kitchen call Sue on 07582 158849.
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